Skip to main content

Full text of "Tree Crops - J. Russell Smith"

See other formats

Tree Crops: A permanent agriculture, by J. Russell Smith 

This book was scanned and this document prepared by the Soil and Health Library in 
2009. It is public domain material and further distribution is encouraged by the 













This Book Is Dedicated to 






As I send this book to the press, I feel a great sense of 
gratitude for the great amount of aid that I have received. 

I wish to express my feelings of deep appreciation to a 
group of Philadelphians, who, under the leadership of Mr. J. 
Levering Jones, formed the University of Pennsylvania Tree 
Crops Exploration Committee. This committee assisted in 
making possible some of the journeys incident to gathering the 
facts that have helped to make this book: Mr. and Mrs. J. 
Levering Jones, Morris L. Clothier, Eckley B. Coxe, Jr., Cyrus 
H. K. Curtis, George W. Elkins, Charles C. Harrison, Charles 
E. Ingersoll, J. Bertram Lippincott, J. Franklin McFadden, 
Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Madeira, Joseph G. Rosengarten, 
William Jay Turner, John Weaver, J. William White, G. 
Searing Wilson, Stuart Wood, Dr. George Woodward, Charlton 

Professor Howard H. Martin of the University of Cincinnati 
spent many weeks searching for material. 

Valuable letters have been sent to me by many private 
individuals; also by agricultural scientists in the employ of the 
United States Department of Agriculture, the state universi- 
ties, the state experiment stations, and foreign experiment sta- 
tions. From among these many I must make especial mention 
of David Fairchild, H. P. Gould, C. A. Reed, Walter T. Swin- 
gle, William A. Taylor, and Raphael Zon, all of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. 

For the troublesome job of reading chapters of another 
man's manuscript, I am indebted to Dr. W. C. Deming, of 
Hartford, Connecticut; J. Ford Wilkinson, of Rockport, In- 
diana; J. M. Westgate, Director, Agricultural Experiment 
Station, Honolulu; Robert Forbes, Ex-Director, Agricultural 




Experiment Station, Tucson, Arizona; H. J. Webber, Director, 
Citrus Substation, Riverside, California; and Dr. George A. 
Clement, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. 

As a member of the Northern Nut-Growers' Association, 
I have for many years been absorbing information from T. P. 
Littlepage, Dr. W. C. Deming, Dr. Robert T. Morris, Willard 
Bixby, the late E. A. Riehl, the late J. F. Jones, and many 


Professor S. S. Visher of Indiana University has read the 
galley proof, making many valuable suggestions. 

I remember with pleasure the warm and helpful interest in 
this, my avocation, that has been shown by my departmental 
colleagues, John E. Orchard, Louis A. Wolfanger, and George 
T. Renner. 


Columbia University, New York City, 
June 1, 1928. 


This book can be read in four ways — depending on your 
hurry or your interest. 

First, look at the pictures and the legends and you have 
the essence of it. 

Second, read the first three short chapters and you have 
the idea. This might be followed by the last two chapters to 
get a similar general statement of the applications. 

Third, read the large print and you have the argument as 
an economist might want it. 

Fourth, read the fine print and you have more details — of 
proof or of application — as a tree lover or a farmer or an 
agricultural scientist might want them. 


I. THE PROBLEM. ..... 

II. THE IDEA ...... 








CAROB ...... 

QUITES ...... 









OTHER WALNUT? 1 " .... 

1 I I 





8 3 



1 64 













A. List of Articles on Tree Crops . . . 295 

B. Bibliography on Soil Erosion . . . 296 

C. Table of Analysis of Stock-Foods . . 302 

D. Tables of Analysis of Human Foods . 303 

E. Table of Comparative Food Production 

Per Acre 305 

F. How to Graft Nut Trees . . . .306 

INDEX 319 





I stood on the Great Wall of China near the borders of 
Mongolia. Below me in the valley, standing up square and 
high, was a wall that had once surrounded a city. Of the city 
only a few mud houses remained, scarcely enough to lead 
one's mind back to the time when people and household 
industry teemed within the protecting wall. 

The slope below the Great Wall was cut with gullies, some 
of which were fifty feet deep. As far as the eye could see were 
gullies, gullies, gullies — a gashed and gutted countryside. The 
little stream that once ran past the city was now a wide waste 
of coarse sand and gravel which the hillside gullies were bring- 
ing down faster than the little stream had been able to carry 
them away. Hence, the whole valley, once good farm land, 
had become a desert of sand and gravel, alternately wet and 
dry, always fruitless. It was even more worthless than the hills. 

Beside me was a tree, one lone tree. That tree was locally 
famous because it was the only tree anywhere in that vicinity; 
yet its presence proved that once there had been a forest over 
most of that land — now treeless and waste. 

The farmers of a past generation had cleared the forest. 
They had plowed the sloping land and dotted it with hamlets. 
Many workers had been busy with flocks and teams, going 
to and fro among the shocks of grain. Each village was marked 
by columns of smoke rising from the fires that cooked the 
simple fare of these sons of Genghis Khan. Year by year the 
rain has washed away the loosened soil. Now the plow comes 
not, only the shepherd is here with his sheep and goats — nib- 




biers of last vestiges. The hamlets are shriveled or gone: I 
Only gullies remain — a wide and sickening expanse of gullies, 
more sickening to look upon than the ruins of fire. 

Forest — field — plow — desert — that is the cycle of the hills 
under most plow agricultures — a cycle not limited to China. 
China has a deadly expanse of it, but so have Syria, Greece, 
Italy, Guatemala, and the United States. Indeed we Ameri- 
cans, though new upon our land, are destroying soil by field 
wash faster than any people that ever lived — ancient or mod- 
ern, savage, civilized, or barbarian. We have the machines to 
help us to destroy as well as to create. 

We also have other factors of destruction, new to the white 
race and very potent. We have tilled crops — corn, cotton, and 
tobacco. Europe did not have these crops. The European 
grains, wheat, barley, rye, and oats, cover all of the ground 
and hold the soil with their roots. When a man plows corn, 
cotton, or tobacco, he is loosening the earth and destroying 
such hold as the plant roots may have won in it. Plowing 
corn is the most efficient known way for destroying the farm 
that is not made of level land. 

We in America have another factor of destruction that is 
almost new to the white race — the thunder storm. South Eu- 
rope has a rainless summer. North Europe has a light rainfall 
that comes in gentle showers. The United States has the rip- 
pling torrent that follows the downpour of the thunder storm. 
When the American heavens open and pour two inches of rain 
in an hour into a hilly corn field, there may result as much 
erosion as results from two hundred inches of gentle British 
or German rain falling on the wheat and grass. 

I asked county agents in a number of counties in the! 
hill country of North Carolina the following question: "What 
is your estimate of number of cultivated crops secured on 
steep land after clearing and before abandonment of cultiva- 
tion?" The answers from ten counties were as follows: "5; 
20; 12; 10; 5 to 10; 10 or 12; 10 or more; 12; 5, extremely 

Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr. 

FIG. 2. How the Cotton Belt goes to economic Hades. This is not the 
Alps. It is Georgia, U.S.A. It was good crop land and forest land a few 
decades ago. It has been a field. It might have yielded crops for ages. 
Major Andre, famous traitor in war, was not going to destroy any land; 
he would merely have changed the law-makers from one group to another. 

Hi > 



i v"* jt ^^h^^J| 

€j? -V ^ 


.w\HHbi' < v 

j . 


JiK^i*"- " 


FIG. 3. Top. No gully, but plucking raindrops have carried away 
many feet of top soil in this Algerian wheat land. (Photo J. Russell 
Smith.) — FIG. 4. Center. The most familiar type of erosion. Note 
the man and note the place — Illinois, the temporarily rich, the sup- 
posedly level. (From Univ. of 111. Circular No. 290.) — FIG. 5. Bot- 
tom. A six-foot man stands in the corn beneath the arrow. The 
worthless stalks by the hat measure the ruin of the hill — typical of 
forty-five American states. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) 


variable; and 10." (Fig. 1.) Ten tilled crops, and ruin has 
arrived ! 

From University of Illinois Circular No. 290 

We usually think of Illinois as level land, not subject to destruc- 
tion by erosion; yet this Illinois bulletin states and shows by this 
map that "about 5V4 millions of acres of land are subject to serious 
erosion." This is about 9000 square miles, an area larger than 

Even Oklahoma, newest of the new, so recently wrested 
from the Indian, who did not destroy it, has its million miles 



of gullies and a kingdom of good land ruined and abandoned. 1 
Field wash, especially in America, is the greatest of all 

5lo/vj c/rtnrar rsmut t5*f* h/id bsst bc 
kept ur fv/rft^/fcfifr nflrv/fc a/? TiMBt/t 




SlBfCS moJi 3$-7v iSf> #*£ MOST 
jXT/3r/>cra#Y rQ/r Mitnrstts* TC/tffitCE} (Fl£. 120) 

Slopes «* ro 3% ff*v vsit#t.i.r ae m/theo 
xftmot/r the mz£0 or M/tNGur* TCftirozCS 

From Umr*r-*itp l>f Illinois Circular No. S9Q 


University of Illinois bulletin states that "mangum terrace is best adapted 
to types of soil slope where sheet washing carries away vast amounts of 
soil fertility each season." 

I challenge the Illinois statement that slopes up to 3 per cent, are safe 
for (from) farming. I do not believe it is proved, and I do not believe it 
is true in Illinois. See "Is America a Permanent Country like Europe?" by 
Arthur H. Mason of Homewood, Illinois. 

1 "Five years ago there was not a gully on the place . . . now it is badly 
cut by gullies ... all the top soil washed away, leaving nothing but the 
clay. ... If not terraced . . . the gullies [will] cut deeper until the rocks 
are touched or until all the clay soil is gone. . . . Five years ago it could 
have been saved by spending less than three dollars an acre to have it ter- 
raced. To-day it will cost five times as much in addition to getting noth- 
ing from it for at least two years." — Oklahoma Extension News, January, 

For decades reports of ruin have come out of the hill section of the 
American cotton belt — thousands of square miles of ruin. Some counties 
were reported one-third worn out before 1850. Worst of all is the plight 
of the loess lands east of the Mississippi. This layer of rich, wind-blown 
soil, half as wide as the State of Mississippi, reaching nearly all the way 

Oriental Penance. FIG. 7. Top. With great labor Japan reclaims 
her mountains denuded by past carelessness. Little trees planted by 
hand on terraces built by hand labor finally renew the forest and hold 
her mountain side. (Photo Shitaro Kawai. Courtesy U. S. Forest 
Service.) — FIG. 8. Bottom. By hand labor the Chinese near Nanking 
carry from a lake bottom back to the mountain side a small fraction 
of that which need never have left it. (Photo by Prof. Joseph Bailie. 
Courtesy U. S. Forest Service.) 


resource wastes. It removes the basis of civilization and of 
life itself. It is far worse than burning a city. A burned city 
can be rebuilt. A field that is washed away is gone for ages. 
Hence the Old World saying, "After man the desert." 

Can anything be done about it? Yes, something can be done. 
Therefore, this book is written to persons of imagination who 
love trees and love their country, and to those who are inter- 
ested in the problem of saving natural resources — the basis for 

from the Ohio to the Gulf, is a kind of thin veneer lying on top of coastal 
plain sands. It is extremely rich and erodes very easily. 

E. W. Hilgard, the great pioneer writer on soils (Soils, p. 218), says: 

"The washing away of the surface soil . . . diminished the production 
of the higher lands, which were then (at the time of the Civil War) com- 
monly 'turned out' and left without cultivation or care of any kind. The 
crusted surface shed the rain water into the old furrows, and the latter 
were quickly deepened and widened into gullies — 'red washes.' . . . 

"As the evil progressed, large areas of uplands were denuded completely 
of their loam or culture stratum, leaving nothing but bare, arid sand, 
wholly useless for cultivation; while the valleys were little better, the 
native vegetation having been destroyed and only hardy weeds finding nour- 
ishment on the sandy surface. 

"In this manner whole sections, and in some portions of the state (Missis- 
sippi) whole townships of the best class of uplands, have been trans- 
formed into sandy wastes, hardly reclaimable by ordinary means, and 
wholly changing the industrial conditions of entire counties, whose county- 
seats even in some instances had to be changed, the old town and site 
having, by the same destructive agencies, literally 'gone downhill.' 

"Specific names have been given to the erosional features of this district; 
a 'break' is the head of a small retrogressive ravine; a 'gulf is a large 
break with precipitous walls of great depth and breadth, commonly being 
one hundred or one hundred and fifty deep; a 'gut' is merely a road-cut 
deepened by storm- wash and the effects of passing travel." 

In this way we have already destroyed the homelands fit for the sus- 
tenance of millions. We need an enlarged definition for treason. Some 
people should not be allowed to sing "My Country." They are destroying 
it too rapidly. 

2 For references on soil erosion in America, see pages 296-301. 



Again I stood on a crest and scanned a hilly landscape. This 
time I was in Corsica. Across the valley I saw a mountainside 
clothed in chestnut trees. The trees reached up the mountain 
to the place where coolness stopped their growth; they ex- 
tended down the mountain to the place where it was too dry 
for trees. 1 This chestnut orchard (or forest as one may call it) 
spread along the mountainside as far as the eye could see. The 
expanse of broad-topped, fruitful trees was interspersed with 
a string of villages of stone houses. The villages were con- 
nected by a good road that wound horizontally in and out along 
the projections and coves of the mountainside. These grafted 
chestnut orchards produced an annual crop of food for men, 
horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and goats, and a by-crop of wood. 
Thus for centuries trees had supported the families that lived 
in the Corsican villages. The mountainside was uneroded, in- 
tact, and capable of continuing indefinitely its support for the 
generations of men. 

Why are the hills of West China ruined, while the hills of 
Corsica are, by comparison, an enduring Eden? The answer is 
plain. Northern China knows only the soil-destroying agricul- 
ture of the plowed hillside. Corsica on the contrary has adapted 
agriculture to physical conditions; she practices the soil- 
saving tree-crops type of agriculture. 

Man lives by plants. Plants live in the soil. The soil is a 
kind of factory in which the life-force of plants, using plant 
food and assisted by bacteria and the elements of the weather, 

1 In the Mediterranean lands, as in most other parts of the world, there 
js more rainfall upon the mountains than at sea level. 

. FIG. 9. Top. Zone of Corsican chestnut orchards (or forests) and 
the villages they support. Note village in left distance. — FIG 10 
Center. Characteristic road and slope in Fig. 9. All trees are chestnuts 
and all are grafted. — FIG. 11. Bottom. Spanish Mediterranean island 
of Majorca. Limestone with fissures and pockets of earth in it The 
man stands by grafted wild olive. At left, grafted carob. At right 
acorn-yielding ilex. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 


Photos J. Russell Smith 

FIG. 12. Top. Olive and fig trees on the hills of Kabylia, foothills 
of the Atlas Mountains, Algeria. Population twenty-five times as 
dense as on the same hills where there are no tree crops. — FIG. 13. 
Center. The pasture year on the two-story Majorca farm. Producing 
figs, wheat, beans, and clover. — FIG. 14. Bottom. Olive trees in Cen- 
tral Tunis planted (without doubt) by the Romans before A.D. 648 
and still bearing — a long-lived property. 


changes earth elements into forms that we can eat and wear, 
manufacture and burn, or use for building material. This 
precious soil from which we have our physical being is only 
a very thin skin upon the earth. Upon the hills and mountains 
it is appallingly thin. In some places there is no soil at all, and 
rocks protrude. Sometimes the earth mantle may be only a 
few inches in depth; rarely does the soil on hill or mountain 
attain a depth of many feet. Often soil is so shallow that one 
great rain storm can gash and gully a slope down to bare 
rock. Where man has removed nature's protecting cover of 
plants and plant roots, the destroying power of rain is in- 
creased a hundredfold, a thousandfold, even at times a mil- 
lionfold, or perhaps even more than that. 

The creation of soil by the weathering of rock is a very, 
very slow process. Years may have passed in making soil that, 
if unprotected, may be washed away in an hour. Therefore, 
today an observer in the Old World might see myriad land- 
scapes once rich with farms where now only poverty-stricken 
men creep about over the ruined land, while their sheep and 
goats, scavengers and destroyers, pick the scanty browse that 
struggles for life in the waste. A handful of men are now liv- 
ing uncomfortably where once there were prosperous villages. 
Similar examples, even of large areas, can be found in almost 
any hill country with a long history of occupation by agricul- 
tural man. 

Syria is an even more deplorable example than China. Back 
of Antioch, in a land that was once as populous as rural Illi- 
nois, there are now only ruin and desolation. The once pros- 
perous Roman farms now consist of wide stretches of bare 
rock, whence every vestige of soil has been removed by rain. 

Geikie, in modern times writing of a section of Palestine, gives a simi- 
lar example: 

"The ride from Eriha to the Jordan is about five miles over a stony 
plain, on which there is no vegetation. Year by year the winter rains sweep 
down the slope and wash away a layer of the wide surface, carrying it to 
the Jordan, there being little to check them but copses of the Zukkum 


"I I 




Greece, once so great, is shockingly ruined by soil wash. In 
parts of Europe people even pound stone to get a little bit of 
loose material in which plant roots can work. 8 

In our own South millions of acres are already ruined, 4 and 
the same destructive agency has caused ruin and abandon- 
ment of land in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana — indeed, in every one 
of our states. The total of this destruction has been estimated 
at 16,600 square miles, equal to the cultivated area of Eng- 
land. 5 And yet, as human history goes, we came to America 
only yesterday. 

If we think of ourselves as a race, a nation, a people that is 
to occupy its country generation after generation, we must 
change some of our habits or we shall inevitably experience 
the steadily diminishing possibility of support for man. 


How does it happen that the hill lands have been so fright- 
fully destroyed by agriculture? The answer is simple. Man has 
carried to the hills the agriculture of the flat plain. In hilly 
places man has planted crops that need the plow; and when a 

tree and Apina Christi. Yet seven monasteries once stood on this now deso- 
late tract, three of them still to be identified by their ruins. Until we 
reach the edge of the Jordan, only the stunted bushes I have mentioned, 
unworthy of the name of trees, and a few shrubs with dwarfed leaves 
are to be seen after leaving the moisture of Sultan's Spring. Not a blade 
of grass softens the dull yellow prospect around." Quoted from Gila River 
Flood Control, p. 18, Secretary of the Interior, 1919. 

3 Von Schierbrand, Wolf, Austria Hungary, Chap. XIV. 

4 "Land too poor for crops or grazing, such as old abandoned fields, of 
which Brazos County (Texas) alone has thousands of acres." H. Ness, 
Botanist, Texas Experimental Station, Journal of Heredity, 1927. 

"In many sections of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and other corn belt 
states water erosion has a tendency to form deep, steep-sided ravines which 
will sometimes make farming almost impossible in a field as large as twenty 
or forty acres." Letter, Ivan D. Wood, State Extension Agent, Agricul- 
tural Engineering, University of Nebraska, July 19, 1923. 

5 National Conservation Congress. See also "Soil Erosion: A National 
Menace," H. H. Bennett, U. S. Dept. Agr. Circular, No. 33, 1928. This is 
a document of great value. 



plow does its work at an angle instead of on flat lands, we may 
look for trouble when rain falls. 

Whence came this flat land agriculture of grass and grains? 
The origin of wheat, barley, and many of our important food 
plants is shrouded in mystery; but we know that our present 
agriculture is based primarily on cereals that came to us from 
the unknown past and are a legacy from our ancient ancestress 
— primitive woman, the world's first agriculturist. Searching 
for something to fill little stomachs and to hush the hunger 
cries of her children, primitive woman gleaned the glades 
about the mouth of her cave. Here she gathered acorns, nuts, 
beans, berries, roots, and seeds. 

Then came the brilliant idea of saving seed and planting it 
that she might get a better and more dependable food supply. 
Primitive woman needed a crop in a hurry, and naturally 
enough she planted the seeds of annuals. Therefore, we of 
today, tied to this ancient apron string, eat bread from the 
cereals, all of which are annuals and members of the grass 

As plants the cereals are weaklings. They must be coddled 
and weeded. For their reception the ground must be plowed 
and harrowed, and sometimes it must be cultivated after the 
crop is planted. This must be done for every harvest. When 
we produce these crops upon hilly land, the necessary break- 
ing up of the soil prepares the land for ruin — first the plow, 
then rain, then erosion. Finally the desert. 


Must we continue to depend primarily upon the type of 
agriculture handed to us by primitive woman? It is true that 
we have improved the old type. Many of the present day 
grains, grasses, and cereals would scarcely be recognized as 
belonging to the families that produced them. Present day 
methods of cultivation but dimly recall the sharpened stick in 



the hand of primitive woman. But we still depend chiefly on 
her crops. 

We are now entering an age of science. At least we are 
scientific in a few respects. It is time that we made a scientific 
survey of the plant kingdom — still the source, as always, of a 
very large proportion of that which is necessary to the exist- 
ence and comfort of man. We should carefully scrutinize 
types of agriculture in relation to environment. Agricultural 
America should scientifically test the plant kingdom in rela- 
tion to potential human use and do it as carefully and pa- 
tiently as industrial America has tested cement. We test cement 
in every possible way, make it of all possible materials, mix 
all possible combinations, test it by twisting it, pressing it, 
pulling it; test it thousands of times, hundreds of thousands 
of times, millions of times, and in a few years our whole 
physical equipment is made over by reenforced cement made 
possible by these millions of tests. 


Testing applied to the plant kingdom would show that the 
natural engines of food production for hill lands are not wheat 
and other grasses, but trees. A single oak tree yields acorns 
(good carbohydrate food) often by the hundred weight, some- 
times by the ton. Some hickory and pecan trees give us nuts 
by the barrel; the walnut tree yields by the ten bushels. There 
are bean trees producing good food for cattle, which food would 
probably make more meat or milk per acre than our present 
forage crops now make. 

These wonders of automatic production are the chance wild 
trees of nature. 7 They are to be likened to the first wild animal 

6 It is even now probable that the king of all forage crops is a Hawaiian 
bean tree, the keawe. (Chapter V.) 

7 I wish to suggest a little explored line of experimentation, namely 
girdling, ringing, or otherwise injuring the tree in such a way that it will 
recover the injury but will, because of it, yield a larger quantity of fruit. 
This is a regular practice of the Greek growers of a grape that enters 


that man domesticated and to the first wild grass whose seed 
was planted. What might not happen if every wild crop- 
bearing tree was improved to its maximum efficiency? Burbank 
and others have given us an inkling of what may result from 
well-planned selection, crossing, or hybridizing. 

From Journal of Agricultural Research 

An example of variation through artificial selection within the species. 
Diagram shows an average size of seedlings of Chinese, Boone County, 
and Navajo maize planted at different depths. The Navajos, living in 
a dry country, have selected a strain of corn capable of sprouting from 
a very great depth and thus having better moisture opportunities. This 
picture shows how the other corns failed to push out through the sand. 

The possibilities, at present quite incalculable, that lie in 
such work are hinted in one almost unbelievable statement of 
the great authority, Sargent, who says of the English walnut, 
which we all know is so good and meaty: 

"The nut of the wild tree is small, with a thick hard shell 
and small kernel, and is scarcely edible; but centuries of cul- 

the world market tinder the name of currant. It appears that the quantity 
of fruit a tree bears is in part a matter of habit. I have no idea that most 
trees bear all the fruit they are physiologically capable of producing. Care- 
ful experimentation along this line might be very productive. 






tivation and. careful selection have produced a number of 
forms with variously shaped thin shells, which are propagated 
by grafting and budding." (Silva, Vol. VII, p. 115.) 

We now know how to breed plants. In the short space of 
a few years we can surpass the results of centuries of chance 
breeding. The plant kingdom has become almost as clay in the 
hands of the potter. Where we now have one good crop plant, 
we may some day have five or ten. We need to start in earnest 
to apply some of our science to producing genius trees — trees 
that are to other trees as human geniuses are to other men. 

Genius trees produced either by chance or design can be 
propagated a million or ten million times as was done with 
the one chance navel orange tree. 


We need a new profession, that of the botanical engineer, 
which will utilize the vital forces of plants to create new 
mechanisms (crop yielding trees) as electrical and mechanical 

8 This creation of new types by plant breeding depends upon three facts 
— first, the variation of different offspring from the same parents; second, 
the varying combinations in offspring of the qualities of the parents; and 
third, the appearance in offspring, especially hybrid offspring, of qualities 
possessed by neither parent. 

First, variation of offspring. Look at the children of almost any fam- 
ily you know. This tendency to variation runs deep into both animal and 
plant life. For example, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletin 
349, "Variation in certain lint characters in a cotton plant and its progeny" 
shows that the average length of lint in the individual plants of the progeny 
of a certain boll (seed pod) varied from 19 millimeters to 28.5 milli- 
meters, a variation of 50 per cent. This is very suggestive of the way 
by which through a selection of parents we have changed the cow so mar- 
velously for milk production. The object of selection here is to find desir- 
able strains that produce uniform progenies. Page 15 shows that tree breed- 
ing has a more easily attainable objective — namely, one good specimen. 

Second, varying combinations in offspring of qualities of parents. A hy- 
bridization of hazels and filberts (Fig. 20) produced plants ranging from 
12 inches to 12 feet in height — suggestive of variations in great degree 
for each quality a plant can have. 

Third, the appearance in hybrid offspring of qualities possessed by 
neither parent. Some of the above-mentioned hazel x filbert hybrids bore 




engineers use the forces of electricity and the elements of me- 
chanics to create new mechanisms for the service of mankind. 

For breeding experiments the tree has one great advantage 
over most of the annuals. We propagate trees by twig or bud, 
by grafting or budding. Therefore, any wild unstable (though 
useful) freak, any helpless malformation like the navel orange 
which cannot reproduce itself, can be made into a million trees 
by the nurseryman. With corn, oats, or alfalfa the breeder 
must produce a type true to seed before the farmer can use it. 

Not only is the tree the great engine of production, but its 
present triumphant agricultural rivals, the grains, are really 

All plants require heat, light, moisture, and fertility. Give 
these things and the tree raises its head triumphantly and 
grows. But in addition to these requirements the weakling 
grains must have the plow. A given area may have rich soil 
and good climatic conditions, but be unsuitable for grain if the 
land happens to be rocky. Nor are steep lands good farm lands 
for grains. Trees are the natural crop plants for all such 

Moreover the grains are annual plants. They must build 

larger fruit than either parent. It is common for occasional plant hybrids 
to exceed either parent in speed of growth, size, earliness of fruiting. 

Further experiments with cotton breeding show the dynamic and creative 
tendency of hybrids. 

"Not only was there all manner of recombination of the characters of 
the parent types but many of these characters were expressed in an exag- 
gerated form. Moreover, numerous characters not observed in either par- 
ent appeared in the second generation, some of these having been decidedly 
abnormal. Many individuals were so strikingly different from either upland 
or Egyptian cotton that a botanist unaware of their hybrid origin would 
take them to represent new species." 

"A remarkable character was the bluish white color of the practically 
glabrous foliage. There was no suggestion of this color in either parent and 
it does not occur in any cultivated cotton known to the writer." 

(Extracts from "A Hybrid between Different Species of Cotton," by 
Thomas H. Kearney, U. S. Department of Agriculture, published in the 
Journal of Heredity, July, 1924.) 





themselves anew for each harvest. They may, therefore, be- 
come victims of the climatic peculiarities of a certain short 
season. It is rain in July that is so vital to the American corn 
crop. The rains of June cannot bring a good crop through. 
Also, if most of the rain due to fall in July happens to come 
in August, it comes too late. The corn has shot its bolt; it 
cannot be revived. Trees are much better able than the cereals 
to use rain when it comes. They can store moisture much bet- 
ter than the annuals can store it because they thrust their roots 
deep into the earth, seeking moisture far below the surface. 
They are able to survive drought better than the annual crops 
that grow beside them. For example, a drought that blasts corn 
or hay or potatoes may have little influence on the adjacent 
apple orchard. Trees living from year to year are a permanent 
institution, a going concern, ready to produce when their pro- 
ducing time comes. 

Therefore, the crop-yielding tree offers the best medium for 
extending agriculture to hills, to steep places, to rocky places, 
and to the lands where rainfall is deficient. New trees yielding 
annual crops need to be created for use on these four types of 


The level plains where rainfall cannot carry soil away may 
continue to be the empires of the plow, although the develop- 
ment of two-story agriculture 9 (trees above and annual crops 
below) offers interesting possibilities of a greater yield than 
can be had from a one-story agriculture. 

9 This type of agriculture is actually in practice in many Mediterranean 
lands. In the Spanish island of Majorca I estimated as a result of several 
journeys across the island that nine-tenths of the cultivated land carries 
an annual crop growing beneath the tree crops. I recall a typical farm 
planted to figs in rows about forty feet apart. Beneath the fig trees was a 
regular rotation of wheat, clover, and chick-peas, one of the standard ar- 
ticles of Mediterranean nutrition. The clover stood two years and was 
pastured by sheep the second year. 

Other two-story Majorca farms had as a top crop almonds, one of the 
staple exports of the island. Other lands were in olives, and a few were in 

Fig. 15. Top. Photo George F. Ransome.) — FIG. 16. Bottom. (Photo 
Arthur Keith.) I am grateful to Dr. George Otis Smith and Messrs, 
Ransome and Keith of the U. S. Geological Survey for this remarkable 
pair of pictures. They show essentially similar geologic formations. Both 
are old granite. In the dry climate of Powers Gulch near Globe, Arizona 
were is no vegetation to hold the rotting rock. At Roan Mountain Station, 
Carter County, Tennessee, the rain supports vegetation, and the vegetation 
holds the earth in which it lives and covers up the bare bones of granite. 
If careful, very careful, man can keep his earth. 


FIG. 17. Top. This very thin layer of clay loam resting on solid granite 
in Chekiang province, China, supports the rapid-growing bamboo with its 
myriad uses, including edible shoots. How long would that slope last if 
treated as the land in Fig. 1 is treated? (Photo F. N. Meyer, U. S. Dept. 
Agr.) — FIG. 18. Bottom. Silt pits in a Sumatra rubber plantation. This 
invention rivals the plow in its possible importance to man if he thinks of 
himself as a race with some hundreds of thousands of years ahead and 
then calculates the rate at which he is now destroying soil. Pits made by 
hand by coolie labor. (Photo Goodyear Rubber Co.) 




We have large areas of hilly land where the climate is good. 
We have such an area of great beauty with excellent climate 
and good soils, reaching from Maine to Alabama, from Ala- 
bama through Kentucky and Tennessee to central Ohio, from 
central Ohio through southern Indiana and Illinois into Mis- 
souri and Arkansas. Again such an area appears on the foot- 
hills of the Rockies and the mountains of the Pacific Coast. 
Then too there are hilly bits of land in nearly all sections of 
our country. When we develop an agriculture that fits this 
land, it will become an almost endless vista of green, crop- 
yielding trees. We will have small plowed fields on the level 
hilltops. The level valleys will also be plowed, but the slopes 
will be productive through crop trees and protected by them — 
a permanent form of agriculture. 


Chestnuts and acorns can, like corn, furnish carbohydrates 
for men or animals. To many it may seem ridiculous to sug- 
gest that we moderns should eat acorns, and I hasten to state 
that the chief objective of this book is to urge new foods for 
animals rather than for men. Food for animals is the chief 
objective of the American farmer. Our millions of four-footed 
brethren who neigh and bray and squeal and bleat and butt 

the acorn-bearing oak. The people said that the farmer did not get the 
greatest possible crop of wheat or the greatest possible crop of olives or 
figs, but that he got about a 75 per cent, crop of each, making a total of 
150 per cent. It is like the ship which fills three-fourths of her tonnage 
capacity with pig iron and five-sixths of her cubic capacity with light wood 

The two-story type of agriculture has another advantage. It divides the 
seasonal risks which everywhere beset the farmer. If frost kills the 
almond, it probably will not injure the wheat. If drought injures the wheat, 
the almond may come through with a bumper crop. 

In some cases the landlord rents the ground crops out to a tenant for a 
share and keeps all of the tree crops for himself, the tenant having con- 
tributed no labor in their production. 




eat much more than the two-footed population consumes. 
Their paunches receive the crop from about four-fifths of our 
farm acres. 

When tree agriculture is established, chestnut and acorn 
orchards may produce great forage crops and other orchards 
may be yielding persimmons or mulberries, crops which pigs, 
chickens, and turkeys will harvest by picking up their own 
food from the ground. Still other trees will be dropping their 
tons of beans to be made into bran substitute. Walnut, filbert, 
pecan, and other hickory trees will be giving us nuts for 
protein and fat food. 

Even this partial list of native tree products shows nearly 
all of the elements necessary to man's nutrition, and that with- 
out introducing a single new species from foreign countries 
where dozens of new crop trees are waiting for the time to 
come when they can be made useful in American agriculture. 

This permanent agriculture is much more productive than 
mere pasture, or mere forest, the only present safe uses for 
the hill fields. Therefore, tree crops should work their way 
into the rolling and sloping lands of all sections. New crop 
trees need to be created. Extensive scientific work in the plant 
kingdom should begin at once. 


As the deep-rooting, water-holding trees show their superior 
crop producing power in dry lands, we may expect some of 
our now arid lands to become planted with crop trees. Thus 
by using the dry land, the steep land, and the rocky land, we 
may be permitted to increase and possibly double our gross 
agricultural production and that too without resort to the 
oriental miseries of intensive hand and hoe labor. Tree crops 
also have a special advantage in their adaptability to a field 
reservoir system of irrigation which is at the same time of 
great promise as a means of flood control. (See Chapter XXII.) 

The great question is, how can we shift from the grain type 




of agriculture to the permanent tree agriculture in those locali- 
ties where the change is necessary to save the land from de- 
struction? In the next chapter the attempt is made to find an 
answer to this question. 




A Chance for Imagination and a Million — Also a Chance for 
Any Creative Intellect Plus a Back Yard 

Here is a chance for a man of wealth to have some fun and 
at the same time to make a world reputation that will last and 
will increase for generations because of the great service he 
will have rendered to the world by creating crop trees and a 

tree-crop agriculture. 

Perhaps you think that the creation of a tree-crop agricul- 
ture should be the work of state agricultural experiment sta- 
tions and the United States Department of Agriculture. Theo- 
retically that is true. It is also true that they cannot do it. 
They cannot get the money for such work. This is a democ- 
racy. We are governed by politicians. A politician is a vote 
getter and not often also a man of vision. Look around you 
and see if this is not true. 


For years I worked on the theory that a tree-crop agricul- 
ture would be created if I let people, including the state ex- 
periment station staffs, know about it. I disseminated the idea 
a dozen years ago to the extent of millions of copies in widely 
read magazines, 1 but at the end of a dozen years I find that 

1 See page 295 for twenty-three titles. 


TG. 19. Father, mother, and child, life-size. McAllister hiccan, Indiana, 
center, a chance natural hybrid almost certainly produced by crossing trees 
°' low quality. A good Indiana pecan above, a good shellbark (laciniosa) 
below. (Photo E. R. Deats.) 

Ill 111 



FIG. 20, FIG. 21. Top. The trees in front of this hat, left, and behind 
the man, right (J. F. Jones), are hybrids (filbert x hazel) of same 
origin. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) — FIG. 22. Bottom. Bottom row, nuts 
of parent trees. Progeny above. Compare size of parents and offspring. 



almost nothing has happened 2 save at the hands of a few pri- 
vate individuals who are working for the joy of creating. 

Mr. Jardine, Secretary of Agriculture, told me very simply 
and directly why no step had been taken in his department. 
The department is busy with urgent matters, curing the trou- 
bles of crops that are already established. They have no money 
to expend on breeding crop trees for the future and for sav- 
ing the soils by which future crops must live. We should not 
criticize Mr. Jardine or the Department. There are men there 
who yearn to do such work, but we must remember that the 
Department of Agriculture gets its money by way of the lord 
of the budget. Budget makers are not primarily men of crea- 
tive instinct. They are money savers with an instinct to dis- 
courage and block new enterprises. If the man who made the 
budget should happen to be convinced of the efficacy of tree 
crops, something might be started; but the succeeding budget 
chief would probably have a mind quite impervious to trees, 
and the experiment would be blocked. 

State experimental stations have, here and there, men who 
would like to do this kind of work; but the stations are de- 
pendent for the money they get on state legislatures, and it 
should not be forgotten that the first necessity of the legislator 
is to get elected, and his second concern is to get reelected. 
In view of these two urgent and even pressing necessities we 

2 Ten years after this wide dissemination of the idea the United States 
Department of Agriculture was trying to get a private citizen of small 
means, one J. Russell Smith, to furnish the ground to test out a number 
of varieties of nut trees and also asked him to take care of the nut trees — 
Smith, a private citizen. Further than that they asked him if he wouldn't 
send them ten pounds of hickory nuts. This is no impeachment of the men 
in the Department of Agriculture, but it does prove that we cannot depend 
upon that system to get this big thing done. The Department has begged 
and begged for money, but our Congress instead builds warships and post 
offices and constructs a wondrous pork barrel. Votes do not grow on trees. 
Congressmen must get elected, and, yet worse for us, in some respects, they 
must get reelected. 





can see that it is a rare accident when money is to be had for 
the prolonged task of developing tree crops. Neither by theory 
nor by practice are we justified in expecting democratic legis- 
lation to look far forward 3 in its appropriations save for edu- 
cation and military defense. 

For America tree crops are a new thing, a new idea. No 
elected legislature can possibly be expected to appropriate 
regularly for such creative work. Was there a state appropria- 
tion or congressional appropriation back of Morse when he 
created the telegraph, or Edison working wonders with elec- 
tricity, or Langley working out the theory of flying, or of 
Orville Wright, the first to make successful flight, or of Lind- 
bergh when he flew from continental mainland to continental 
mainland? No! These things were done with private money 
urged by an idea. By this means also must come most of the 
creative work in making a tree-crop agriculture. 

Some person of prophetic vision is needed to finance an 
institute of mountain agriculture. There, protected from the 
variations due to change of officials, new things could be devel- 
oped to the point where state experiment stations and govern- 
mental bureaus could take them up, test them, and pass them 


Such an institute would have a variety of work to do: 

1. Finding parent trees from which to start crops. 

2. Hybridizing to produce better parent trees. 

3. Maintaining testing grounds to try out the new trees as 

As an evidence of the low intellectual and civic level of legislation in 
America, I will not refer to the psychology and facts of municipal elections 
in Chicago, for example. Instead I cite the widespread American practice 
of taxing young forest. Tax the forest and you put a premium on neglect 
and on cutting the forest. This continues despite a well-known fact of 
coming lumber scarcity and much preaching. If legislation should tax the 
lumber and exempt the forest there would be a premium on its preserva- 
tion. Most American state legislatures cannot be made to see so simple 
a proposition as this. No, it is foolishness to expect state legislatures to 
do the big thing in tree-crops creation. 



trees — testing them by ten thousands to find the good 

4. Operating experimental farms to try out the new trees 
as crops. 

5. Carrying on publicity work to get the new idea into the 
conservative mind. 

6. Making studies in soil erosion and its prevention. 

1. Finding Parent Trees 

The one original parent Baldwin apple was born by chance 
in a fence corner. It was propagated by grafting until there 
were millions of Baldwin apple trees. If this same process 
were applied to the best wild crop trees now growing in the 
world, I am sure that the hill fields from Massachusetts to 
Texas could become more valuable than the best nearby farm 
land, and be covered with orchards of bearing trees like the 
best wild 

(a) Shagbark hickory trees and their natural hybrids, 

(b) Shellbark hickory trees and their natural hybrids, 

(c) Pecan hickory trees and their natural hybrids, 

(d) Butternut trees, 

(e) Black walnut trees, 

(f) Chinese walnut trees and natural hybrids, 

(g) Chestnut trees and already created hybrids. 

These crops would be for humans. For animals the much 
wider expanses of hill land should be covered with 

(a) Acorn-yielding oaks, 

(b) Honey locust trees, 

(c) Chestnut trees, 

(d) Persimmon trees, 

(e) Mulberry trees, and many others.* 

It is easy to speak of an orchard of best shagbarks or acorn- 

4 Professor C. C. Colby, of the University of Chicago, says the High- 
land Rim County of East Tennessee is "alive with food in the fall — butter- 
nuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, persimmons, and papaws, all in 
great abundance and lying on the ground." 



yielding oak, but where are the best wild parent trees for 
these orchards? No one knows where they are. The task of 
finding the parent trees may be long and difficult. We see how 
great it is when Sargent mentions fifty species of oak trees 
as being native to the United States. Sudworth, United States 
Forest Service, said there were one hundred and seventy spe- 
cies of oaks. There are many varieties of hickory. The honey 
locust tree and the persimmon, species of great promise for 
crop production, are each growing over a million square miles 
of land. How would you find the best tree? When it comes to 
persimmons we need a half dozen best trees; one ripening in 
August, one in September, one in October, one in November, 
one that drops its fruit in December, and yet another which 
drops it in January. There are such wild persimmon trees al- 
ready growing in the United States. 

Yet more! Foreign countries need to be carefully searched 
in the quest for parent trees. Something has already been done, 
but the task is only begun. It may be that the best crop trees 
are growing in some little valley in Spain, Portugal, Jugo- 
slavia, Asia Minor, Persia, the Himalayas, or the remote in- 
terior lands of southwestern China, which seems to be such a 
wonderland of trees. 

2. Hybridizing to Produce Better Trees 

There is little doubt that we could start a good tree agricul- 
ture by merely propagating the best wild trees, but if agricul- 
tural science has worked out any result it is this: the pur- 
poseful hybridization by man of existing trees can produce 
trees that are much better for agricultural purposes than those 
nature has produced. This work should use both native and 
introduced trees. A dozen men could at once go to work on the 
various oak species, a half dozen on the chestnuts, and an- 

5 There are also natural hybrid oaks scattered about the United States. 
No one has any idea where or how many. 



other half dozen on the hickories. The magnitude of such an 
undertaking may be grasped when we realize that one species 
of apple has given rise in America to over seven thousand 
named varieties, and new ones and better ones are being made 
every year. 

The hybridization work of an institute of mountain agri- 
culture should amount to hundreds and thousands of cross pol- 
linations every year. Each hybrid seed would have to be 
planted and grown to fruiting age. 

3. Testing Grounds 

The best hybrids should be tested to determine their possi- 
bilities as crop producers. This would cover many acres of 
ground and need a considerable staff of men. 

4. Experimental Farms 

It is one thing to tell the farmer that here are good black 
walnuts or chestnuts or acorn-yielding oaks or honey locust 
trees, and it is quite another matter to organize these into an 
effective farm. That is a matter of agricultural economics and 
farm management; so the institute should have a number of 
farms in which tree crops were worked out into a system to 
make a well-balanced and profitable use of land, well-balanced 
use of a man's time, and good safe living for the family who 
depended upon it. 

5. Publicity 

An institute of mountain agriculture, as outlined above, 
needs an expert in publicity on its staff. In the beginning years 
he could be chiefly employed in the very difficult task of get- 
ting the attention of almost every land owner in the United 
States, of every tree lover, and of every hunter, so that we 
might find those rare parent trees that are standing in fence 
corners, back fields, distant pastures, and remote mountain- 



Another task for the publicity expert would be to attract 
the attention of the American farming public to the fact that 
there could be such a thing as tree-crop agriculture, and that 
some crops are now ready to use. This is just as much a task 
for a publicity expert as is a press campaign for a candidate 
for the senate or a corporation that wishes to raise fares. The 
sedate government bulletins already published are helpful, but 
experience shows that they do not fill a very big place. The 
task of spreading a new idea in agriculture is most difficult. 


Suppose the man who started an institute of mountain agri- 
culture lived in North Carolina and worked out a North Caro- 
lina agriculture; the interested farmer from Massachusetts dis- 
covers that few of the North Carolina varieties and practices 
fit his conditions. This shows at once that we need several 
institutes of agriculture in locations where their findings are 
adaptable for considerable areas. (See page 27 and Fig. 136.) 

6. Erosion Survey 

The objects of an institute of mountain agriculture might 
be classed as twofold — to create a new wealth through new 
crops and to save our soil resources from destruction by ero- 
sion. For the latter purpose we need to know what the danger 
really is. The thoughtful part of the American public might be 
shocked into doing something about it if they could be made 
to understand what soil erosion has done to China, Syria, 
Greece, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Ohio. A few well- 
planned and well-manned expeditions making an erosion sur- 
vey of foreign lands and our own country would bring back 
material which might be one of the scientific sensations of the 
day. In the hands of good publicity experts it might make this 
reckless American people see that we are today destroying 

6 "The history of agriculture shows a conservatism probably unequaled 
in any other phase of human activity." 



the most vital of our resources (soil) faster and in greater 
quantity than has ever been done by any group of people at 
any time in the history of the world. If our people could be 
made to feel this, they would try to stop it. 


As outlined above this work can employ heavy endowments. 
On the other hand experiments with trees can be on almost 
any scale. Two trees, for example, might produce great 
(hybrid) results. There are thousands of individuals who can 
experiment and have pleasure, 7 recreation, and perhaps do 
something of great value to the human race. 

Experimentation with nut trees is especially to be recom- 
mended for people in middle age and upward. One of the pains 
of advancing years is the declining circle of one's friends. One 
by one they leave the earth and the desolating loneliness of 
old age is felt by the survivors. But the man who loves trees 
finds that this group of friends (trees) stays with him, get- 
ting better, bigger, and more lovable as his years and their 
years increase. This perhaps explains the delightful enthusiasm 
of some of the septuagenarian and octogenarian tree lovers 
whom I know and have known, such as the late E. A. Riehl 
and Benjamin Buckman, both of Illinois, who were plunging 
ahead in their eighties as though they were in their forties. 

Mr. Riehl began nut tree pioneering on some Mississippi 
bluffs near Alton at the age of sixty-three and actually made 
money out of nuts. He was really just getting started when he 
died at the age of eighty-seven. I knew him for eleven years. 
It was a great pleasure to associate with such a youthful and 
enthusiastic spirit. He was the youngest old man I ever knew, 

7 1 have altogether something like thirty-five varieties of walnuts, hick- 
ories, pecans, persimmons, papaws, and honey locust on test on my rocky 
hillside, and I find that I am having an amount of fun out of it that is as 
perfectly unreasonable and genuine as is the joy that remains for a month 
or two after making a good drive at golf. 


spuqfaf pus Ktoqjiu 

ftlU fJVfflf 


S>/DVpttf 9S3t(ll{J 




in to r*i 

-T H 


fa « 




% =3 
I * 

1 I 

w .9 i 

.B 83 = 
pa n •& 

I * i 





still living in the future, not in retrospect as is so common 
with old age. 

The danger of loss to society by leaving this work to private 
individuals is well illustrated by these collections of trees 
listed above. 

Mr. Jones, a nurseryman, had a good collection of parent 
trees in bearing. He got a thrill out of hybridizing. He wanted 
to do nothing else. As I finish this book, Mr. Jones dies leav- 
ing a widow and three young daughters who may not happen 
to be situated to carry on his work. It is to be hoped that 
some one can carry on his breeding work with his collection 
of trees. 

The trees of Dr. Morris stand in one of the choicest tracts 
of suburban land anywhere near New York City. Dr. Morris 
is seventy years young. 

Mr. Bixby's tree collection is the finest of its kind in the 
world. The land on which it stands in a suburb of Brooklyn, 
is worth one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and is rapidly 
increasing in value. In addition to this loss of interest Mr. 
Bixby is spending two or three thousand dollars a year in taxes 
and an equal amount in hiring men to conduct this private 
experiment station, to which he also gives some of his own 
financially valuable time. He contributes his findings freely to 
the public. This is fine for society while it lasts, but unfortu- 
nately it will take decades of years and a great deal more land, 
labor, and money to get the full results out of this unique 



Should I begin with the nut crops, the well-known pecans, 
walnuts, and hickories with which every American is some- 
what acquainted? 

This book is primarily an attack upon the gully. To succeed 
in this we must have millions of acres of tree crops replacing 
the destructive plow crops. Now the nuts that people eat are 
fine and worthy of much improvement, but a few hundred 
thousand acres of them would glut the market. Not so with 
stock food. Once we get a cow-feed tree crop established we 
have a guaranteed outlet, and twenty or thirty million acres 
will not glut the market. We would simply convert thirty or 
forty million acres of our hundred million acres of corn to a 
more profitable and soil-saving crop. 

Therefore, I start this part of the book with stock foods. 

There is another reason also. Some of the stock-food crops 
seem to be in the class of sure things with which the farmer 
can safely begin without waiting for a lot of scientific work 
to be done. 

Then, too, stock foods start on an honest-to-goodness basis. 
They don't begin five prices high like a human food novelty 
and then come down bumpety-bump as soon as a few carloads 
are produced. 



Who has not pitied John the Baptist because he had to eat 
insects (locusts) in the wilderness, and the Prodigal Son be- 
cause he was brought so low that he was forced to feed upon 
the husks that the swine did eat? 

But the locusts that John the Baptist ate were not insects; 
they were the beans of the carob tree, sometimes still spoken 
of in the Near East as "locust." The husks eaten by the Prodi- 
gal Son were not the dried husks of corn, as the American 
farmer naturally believes. They too were the pods of the 
carob bean. 

Like our own maize, the carob bean is food for animals. It 
has been used for that purpose throughout the Mediterranean 
region for several thousands of years. Like maize it is also 
used for human food. My son, when three years of age, ate, 
without invitation, the samples of carob that I had brought 
home. Carob beans are regularly sold for human food by little 
shop keepers and pushcart vendors on the streets in some 
parts of New York and other American cities occupied by 
Mediterranean peoples. They have long been used in American 
factories to add both flavor and nutriment to certain patent 
calf foods, live-stock conditioners, and dog biscuit. Four hun- 
dred tons per year are used in the United States to flavor 
chewing tobacco. 

The trees and the beans have been introduced into Cali- 
fornia, and it is an astonishing fact that promoters of Los 

'U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 1194. 




Angeles claim that their products make good food for the 
American table. John the Baptist and the Prodigal Son might 
easily have fared worse. 

The bean-producing carob tree is one member of a group 
of leguminous trees all of which are equipped to gather nitro- 
gen from the air and make sugars from earth materials and 
air and to make forage for beast (if not food for man) in 
nearly all the climates that circle the globe in the latitude of 
Washington, St. Louis, Santa Fe', Los Angeles, Shanghai, 
Kabul, Teheran, Jerusalem, Rome, and Gibraltar. In the 
southern hemisphere a similar band of bean-tree climate cov- 
ers large areas in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, and 

Three entirely different types of climate are found in this 
bean zone. See map in this book (Fig. 136.) 

First Climate Type 

The Mediterranean climate, on the western coasts in mid- 
dle latitudes. This climate has a mild, slightly frosty winter 
with some rain which is followed by a hot dry summer. Here 
the carob thrives. 

Second Climate Type 

On the eastern coasts of the continents in middle latitudes, 
the American Cotton Belt, and South China, also southeastern 
Australia, southeastern Africa, and southern Brazil, is a climate 
with a frosty winter and rainy, humid, hot summer. This is the 
climate of the honey locust tree (gleditsia), bearing beans a 
foot or more in length, and also good for forage. 

Third Climate Type 

Between these two type regions, California and the Cotton 
Belt, is an area of arid interior, typified by Arizona, New 
Mexico, and western Texas. In the Old World this between- 
region of drought includes large areas of Syria, Persia, and 
Afghanistan, with similar regions of large size in Argentina, 



Australia, and South Africa. This is the climate of the mesquite, 
native to America, and of certain allied species which thrive 
amazingly in the arid lands of both North and South Amer- 
ica (page 69). For map, see Fig. 136. 

All of these bean-bearers have very ingeniously bedded 
their seeds in a sugary pod which is greedily eaten by many 
ruminants. The seed itself no beast can bite, bruise, or digest. 
It passes with the excreta, dropped on every square rod of 
pasture land and bedded down in fertilizer to help it start its 
new life. Nature is indeed ingenious! 

All of these beans and their pods are much alike in food 
service and in food analysis. In nutritive value, both protein 
and carbohydrate, they are much like wheat bran — that stand- 
ard nutrient of the dairy cow. (See table, page 302.) Therefore, 
it seems fair to call these bean trees "bran trees" because 
some are already used as bran substitutes and others may be 
made to afford a commercial substitute for bran. This gives 
the possibility of their being major crops of American agricul- 


1 1 '1 




I shall begin my discussion of the stock-food trees with the 
Hawaiian algaroba, commonly called keawe in those islands. 
I start with keawe because the facts about it have been 
worked out by American agricultural officials; because the evi- 
dence that these men have produced is official; and because 
of the astonishing, convincing, and yet almost unbelievable 
nature of that evidence. I shall present much of the material 
in the exact words of officials of the American Agricultural 
Experiment Station in Honolulu. 

E. V. Wilcox, Special Agent in charge, Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, Honolulu, said: 1 

"The algaroba, or keawe (prosopis juliflora) 2 is commonly 
recognized as the most valuable tree which has thus far been 
introduced into the Territory of Hawaii. 

"There are eighteen or more species of prosopis, the natural 

1 Press Bulletin, No. 26, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, The 
Algaroba in Hawaii. 

The botanists have long had a hot dispute as to whether this Hawaiian 
tree was American or Chilean in its origin. Certainly it was introduced 
about a century ago, and there are at least three good rumors as to its 

"I have become very much interested in the identity of this species and 
have succeeded in obtaining related species from many parts of the world 
and have these growing in seedling form on our station here in Honolulu. 
I feel pretty sure that ours is a South American species, possibly prosopis 
chiliensis. I am quite certain that it is neither the true mesquite nor the 
true carob." 

(A letter signed J. M. Westgate, Agronomist in charge, Agricultural 
Experiment Station, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 5, 1916.) 

See Figs. 27 and 38 for pictures of beans of keawe and carob. It is one of 
the jokes on horticulture that they have been called the same — even in 
Bailey's good Encyclopaedia of Horticulture. 


FIG. 23. Top. Water-holding terraces made by machinery in 
clay hillside orchard of Lawrence Lee, inventor. This is one of the 
great inventions. The moisture substitute for cultivation is evi- 
dent. (Courtesy J. R. Linter.) — FIG. 24. Bottom. Three hybrid 
poplars from same parentage. Project by McKee, a chemist — 
quite a joke on the foresters. Some of these grow with great 
speed. (Courtesy Ralph McKee, A. B. Stout, and E. J. Schreiner.) 


Photos J. Russell Smith 

FIG. 25. Top. The spreading keawe tree above the automobile was 
shown by Mr. Williams as one yielding from two to three tons of beans in a 
year. The mass of thick leaves near the horse is the tops of other trees in 
background. — FIG. 26. Bottom. A fruiting branch of keawe showing one 
of the two crops per year, Island of Maui, Hawaii. See Fig. 38. 



habitat of which is in tropical and semi-tropical America. The 
algaroba 3 occurs from Texas to Chile and in the West In- 
dies. . . . 

"Algaroba or keawe thrives best at low altitudes, but is 
everywhere in Hawaii gradually extending to higher levels, 
and it is found in some localities at altitudes as high as two 
thousand feet." 

Dr. J. M. Westgate has not seen it above 1,000 feet and re- 
ports 600 feet to be its usual upper limit on the island of Oahu. 
Apparently it is gradually becoming acclimated to higher alti- 
tudes, but it bears most abundantly at lower levels. On the 
whole its distribution has been largely accomplished by stock. 4 

"Practically all of the islands have enormous belts of alga- 
roba forest extending from the seashore on the leeward side 
up to an altitude of 800 or 1,000 feet. 5 

"There are few trees which are distinctly useful for more 
purposes than is true for the algaroba. 

3 For further discussion of identity see Chapter VIII, The Mesquites 
4 Some of the rough areas unsuited to cultivation on the windward 
side of the island are being planted to algaroba since the demand for the 
meal is gradually increasing." (Letter, March 12, 1913, E. V Wilcox Spe- 
cial Agent in charge.) 

"The algaroba in Hawaii occupies at least 50,000 acres of land, grow- 
ing satisfactorily with a rainfall of from 12 to 15 inches per year." (Letter 

^EonWnoM^re 1 !^ 1 in char 8 e ' Agricultural Experiment 

"This tree grows under rainfall conditions varying from ten inches per 
annum to as high as fifty inches. In altitude it grows from the sea level to 
about eight hundred feet." (Letter from J. M. Westgate, Agronomist in 
charge, July 5, 1916.) 

6 "Algaroba wood also constitutes one of the best and chief sources of 
fuel m the Territory. Its growth is comparatively rapid and the larger 
trees can be jemoved for fuel, thus making room for the growth of an- 
other generation of trees. In addition to these uses of the algaroba, it 
might also be stated .that the bark contains tannin, and the gum is suit- 
able fo.r use in. varnish. Being a legume and of remarkable penetrating 
power in the soils, it is also a soil-maker of some importance. As a shade 
and ornamental, tree it is highly appreciated. The form of the tree is grace- 
ful and spreading. The small branches furnish excellent material for mak- 
ing charcoal. Piles made from algaroba are relatively free from the at- 
tack of the teredo. Moreover, since the pods contain a high percentage 
of sugar, they may be used in the manufacture of denatured alcohol and 




Its flowers furnish the most important source of pure honey 
known in the Territory. The bee-raisers of the Territory have 
shown an active interest in securing the rights of placing 
apiaries so as to utilize to the fullest extent the algaroba for- 
ests. The yield of honey is recognized as large and important 
and occurs at two seasons, there being two crops of flowers 
and pods annually. 

"As a forage crop algaroba is of far greater financial value. 
The pods are everywhere recognized as one of the most im- 
portant grain feeds of the islands and are greatly relished by 
all kinds of live stock, including chickens. The quantities of 
pods produced by the algaroba forests cannot be estimated 
even approximately, for a large proportion of the pods are 
allowed to fall on the ground and are eaten by cattle, hogs, 
and horses without being previously picked up. Wherever the 
belts of algaroba timber are large, it has been found possible 
to maintain stock for a month or two of each season without 
any other forage than algaroba beans. 7 

"It has been estimated that approximately 500,000 bags 
of the beans are annually picked up and stored, particularly 
for feeding horses and cattle. On two or three estates at least 
15,000 bags of beans are annually stored for this purpose."* 

As to yield Mr. Wilcox said,' "It has been found that the 
yield per acre varies from two to ten tons. This yield varies 

vinegar." (Hawaiian Agricultural Experiment Station, Press Bulletin 26, 
p. 4, The Algaroba in Hawaii.) 

1 "The algaroba bean industry is getting to be a very important one here 
in the Islands, the ground pods being regarded as equal to barley or oats 
for feeding purposes pound for pound. It is rather difficult to get any 
definite figures on the production as so many of the companies utilize their 
own grinding plants and feed the ground beans to their own stock. Thou- 
sands of head of stock in certain seasons of the year are allowed to eat 
the pods as they fall from the trees in the native pastures." (Letter from 
J. M. Westgate, Agronomist in charge, Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Honolulu, July 5, 1916.) 

8 "The business which has developed this year from the sale of algaroba 
bean meal amounts to about $350,000." (Letter signed E. V. Wilcox, Spe- 
cial Agent in charge, March 12, 1913.) 

5 Letter, March 12, 1913. 




but little from year to year and occurs in two crops per year, 
the figures given covering the sum of both crops." 

In another connection 10 Mr. Wilcox said, "The yield of 
beans per acre of good algaroba forest is about four tons 
per acre." " 

Mr. J. E. Higgins, Horticulturist at the Honolulu station, 
said, 12 "It has taken possession of large tracts of otherwise 
unoccupied land, prospers where the soil is too dry for any 
other crop, 13 and produces a verdure and shade where other- 
wise there would be an almost barren waste, and yields a pod 
of high feeding value." 

Mr. Wilcox, above mentioned, said, 1 * "Thus far there has 
been no cultivation of algaroba. The large areas of trees 
which we have stand, for the most part, in rock soil where 
cultivation would be practically impossible." 15 

"We therefore have no evidence as to whether the increased 
yield obtained by cultivation in tillable soil would pay for the 
added cost of cultivation. At present the cost of gathering 
and grinding is about eighteen dollars per ton, allowing ten 
dollars per ton for gathering, five dollars for grinding, and 
three dollars for transportation. The regular price paid for 
picking up the pods from the ground under the trees and 
delivering them in bags at the roadside is one-half cent a 

10 Letter, June 18, 1912. 

11 In 1927, Mr. J. M. Westgate, Director of the Hawaiian Agricultural 
Experiment Station, weighed the beans from a yard tree, 17 inches in 
diameter, 30 feet high, 60 feet spread — 500 lbs. of beans. (Letter, Feb. 1, 

12 Letter, July 3, 1916. 

13 C. K. McClelland, Experiment, Georgia, June 19, 1916. "In Hawaii the 
algaroba tree, growing in coral rock which in many places has no soil cov- 
ering — the trees being in pockets dissolved or worn out of the coral — fur- 
nishes valuable products in the way of honey, cattle feed, and fuel." 

14 Letter, June 18, 1913, E. V. Wilcox, Special Agent in charge, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, Experiment Station, Honolulu, Hawaii. 

1 U. S. Department of Agriculture, Honolulu, Hawaii, September 12, 
1916. "A great many of the algaroba trees grow where the soil is two 
feet deep, being underlaid with solid lava rock." (Letter signed J. M. 


pound. At this rate men, women, and children make from 
one dollar and twenty-five cents to one dollar and seventy-five 
cents per day." 

Speaking of the value of the beans, Mr. Wilcox said, 18 
"The feeding value of twenty -five dollars which I have placed 
upon algaroba meal is to be compared with bran or rolled 
barley at about forty dollars per ton at present prices in 
Honolulu. At these prices it is worth more than twenty-five 
dollars per ton, since its analysis shows it to be practically 
equal except for the fact that the crude fiber is a little more." 

The two sets of beans require two sets of blossoms, all of 
which are rich in honey, which Mr. Leslie Burr estimates at 
2 x /2 pounds per year for a tree with thirty-foot spread. See 
Gleanings in Bee Culture, January, 1917. Honey by the ton 
is one of the products of a Hawaiian algaroba pasture. 


Owing to the fact that no animal can digest the bean it is 
estimated that most of the protein value (see table of food 
analysis, page 302) is lost. Some estimate that about forty 
per cent, of food value is wasted when the animals eat the 
beans under the trees. This loss, combined with the desire to 
have food in the off season, led to attempts to grind the beans. 
Owing to the fact that the sugar of the pods has the con- 
sistency of molasses, it stuck to the parts of the grinding 
machine and looked like vulcanized rubber. For a long time it 
interfered with attempts at successful grinding. After years 
of work a technique " for grinding was evolved. 

16 Letter signed E. V. Wilcox, Special Agent in charge, Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station, Honolulu, July 20, 1912. 

17 The experiment station recommends a fine spray of water on the rolls, 
which prevents the meal from sticking and does not wet the meal enough 
to cause it to spoil. 

Mr. Ben Williams of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company on 
the Island of Maui worked out a different technique. He heats the beans 
to a temperature of 600° to 8oo° F. by superheated steam in a rotary kiln. 
This turns the molasses to a white powdered sugar; the beans are then 


Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station reported, 18 "The 
feeding test made by this Station showed that the seeds thus 
cracked are completely digested by horses, mules, and cattle. 

"The keeping quality of the meal is quite sufficient for the 
ordinary demands of the trade. When kept in sacks or open 
containers, it retains its original odor and flavor, without 
change, for six or eight months; and the meal is no more 
subject to the attacks of insects than is any other grain feed." 

E. V. Wilcox said (letter, August 12, 1913), "The algaroba 
beans have been formerly shipped to Japan as a food for cav- 
alry horses, but the product is now all used in Honolulu. It 
has been adopted as a part of the rations for army horses of 
this Territory." 

The evidence in the passages quoted above is truly astonish- 
ing when compared with that of the standard crops of the 
American field. In considering these facts one should remember 
the necessary restraints and conservatism of statement which 
must and do mark the official representatives of the Depart- 

ground in a swing-hammer sand machine, a machine made to crush soft 

In 1912 Mr. Ben Williams, ranch manager on the above-mentioned 
estate on the Island of Maui, told me that he was having one thousand 
to one thousand four hundred tons of beans per year picked up. Women 
picked up eight or ten forty-pound sacks of beans a day and received an 
average of one dollar for the day's work. Many women picked up twenty 
sacks daily, thus making two dollars to two dollars and twenty-five cents 
a day, which was more than they made in the sugar fields. It cost Mr. 
Williams twelve dollars and fifty cents per ton to have the beans picked 
up and put in the storehouse, five dollars to take them from the store- 
house, have them ground and bagged, the bags cost two dollars; total 
cost was nineteen dollars and fifty cents. Allowing ten per cent, for shrink- 
age, the meal cost a little over one cent per pound. 

Six men ground ten tons per day with electrically driven machinery and 
one-quarter of a barrel of oil. The total cost was three dollars per ton; 
itemized as follows: 

Costs— Labor. $12.00 

Power. 12.00 

Capital charge 6.00 

It could be done for less if the plant were worked more continuously. 
18 Press Bulletin No. 26. The Algaroba. 



ment of Agriculture. Even more astonishing evidence was 
given me by Mr. Ben Williams, a Welshman, fifty-five years 
of age, ranch manager of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar 
Company's estate on the Island of Maui. 

This estate has fifteen thousand acres in cane land, twenty- 
one thousand three hundred acres classed as waste and pas- 
ture, of which none is real waste and none real pasture. 
The area involved, thirty-six thousand three hundred acres — 
nearly sixty square miles — is as large as some of the smaller 
counties in the United States. Its population is in thousands, 
and its organization is a vast group of industries, well sub- 
divided, with a superintendent of cane fields, a factory super- 
intendent, a chief engineer in the sugar mill, a foreman of 
machine shop, and the ranch manager, Mr. Williams, in charge 
of two hundred dairy cows, eight hundred cattle, seven hun- 
dred horses and mules, and two hundred and fifty pigs. 

Of Mr. Williams' ranch domain eight to nine thousand 
acres are in algaroba, planted by the cattle as they scattered 
the beans from one tree that stood by the windmill and its 
attendant drinking trough. By rule of thumb observation 
Mr. Williams said that one hundred pounds of keawe meal, 
when fed to pigs, horses, and cattle, were about equivalent 
to eighty pounds of good barley, which had long been the 
standard horse feed of the islands. Mr. Williams said that 
each acre of good keawe will fatten at least six head of 
cattle. If the animals weigh six hundred pounds when turned 
in, in ninety days they will weigh over eight hundred pounds. 
I expressed my doubts. "I have seen it done," declared Mr. 
Williams. "I know this, that you can take cattle, lean ones, 
that do weigh five hundred pounds and should weigh seven 
hundred pounds; and if you put six of them on an acre of 
good keawe, they will average better than two pounds a day 
on raw beans which they pick up for themselves. You can 
take the season from the middle of July, and the six cattle 
will gain twelve hundred pounds and sometimes will go to 



sixteen hundred pounds of beef per acre on land with rainfall 
of twenty inches a year." 

Mr. Williams reiterated these figures and saw me write 

them down. It should be mentioned that this man has a corps 

of accountants which keeps books on every field for crops, 

for purchases, for sales, and for every bit of labor employed, 

just as you would expect to find in the Standard Oil Company 

or in other highly organized corporations. 19 

When one considers that a good acre of Kentucky blue grass 

pasture or the rich pasture of old England will produce one 

hundred and fifty pounds of mutton per year, and an Illinois 

farm in corn and alfalfa will make about four hundred and 

fifty pounds of beef and pork per acre per year, 20 the keawe 

bean tree looms up as one of the king crops of the world. 

In explaining the prodigious yields Mr. Williams pointed 

to a particular tree (see Fig. 25), which he said would yield 

from two to three tons. I measured the tree. It had a reach 

of eighty-four feet. The tree hung full of beans (see Fig. 26). 

Many were dropping, and the tree was still blooming. It was 

then the fourth of August, but Mr. Williams assured me the 

tree would keep on blooming for some time and that it would 

drop beans for five months, from July to December. 

We walked through the copses of keawe where the sand 

was merely held in place by protection of keawe root and 

keawe tops which kept the wind from getting at the sand; 

but before the reader jumps to the conclusion that this was 

a desert waste, he should consider the geologic origin of 

the sand. It was volcanic sand blown up from the shore of 

the sea and mixed with perhaps ten to fifteen per cent, of 

shells. There is no richer soil combination known on the 

face of this earth than certain volcanic sands and lavas mixed 

" This particular ranch was one of several properties operated by the 
same management. r r r J 

, T , Information froni Herbert Murnford, 
Urbana, 111. (Letter, Oct. 11, 1913. 

Professor of Animal Husbandry, 



with limestone. This richness of the fresh unleached lava soil 
of Hawaii should be kept in mind when one thinks of apply- 
ing Hawaiian facts to many other areas of semi-arid frostless 
lands in which the algaroba may probably find a suitable 
climate. 21 (See further discussion of this point in Chapter VIII 
on The Mesquites.) 

The Hawaiian keawe seems truly tropical, but the genus 
to which it belongs is by no means limited to lands without 
frost. (See the findings of Dr. Walter S. Tower in the next 

The surprising performances reported in this chapter may 
almost without exception be said to be products of wild trees, 
although the process of thinning out may sometimes leave the 
better ones. It should be noted that nine thousand acres of 
trees on the sugar plantation mentioned above were scattered 
by cattle from one chance tree at the windmill. What a shame 
that it was not an exceptionally good tree! 2 ~ 

There is every reason to think that the keawe produced by 
chance is capable of much improvement by selection and 
breeding. Then the propagation of orchards from the best 
trees should give a still better crop than is at present obtain- 

The chief value of the keawe in this book is that it is an 
example — a successful tree crop in a world that needs many 
other tree crops to fit particular places and keep its scanty 
soil upon its rocky ribs. 

21 "In Cuba, where I lived a number of years, one of the locusts, called a 
'guasima,' furnishes considerable food for cattle, and they are introducing 
from the Hawaiian Islands a locust with a sweet substance in the pod as 
a food for horses, cattle, and swine. I believe this tree is called an alga- 
roba." (Letter signed N. S. Mayo, Animal Husbandman, Virginia Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, Blacksburg, Virginia, May 22, 1913.) 

22 "There is a great difference in the yielding capacity of different trees. 
They begin to bear profitably at four or five years of age." (Letter signed 
E. V. Wilcox, Agricultural Experiment Station, Honolulu, Hawaii, Au- 
gust 12, 1913.) 




The carob, 1 the food of the Prodigal Son, of Mediterranean 
people, of the Mediterranean farm animals, and of the calves 
and dogs of America, also fed the cavalry of Wellington in 
his Peninsular campaign and that of Allenby in Palestine 
during the World War." Carob beans are sold in many 
American cities where Mediterranean peoples live. They are 
eaten from the hand as are apples, peanuts and chestnuts. In 
Sicily they serve as candy. Almost any American child will 
eat them if he gets a chance. 

The tree has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region 
from an unknown antiquity and both the wild and cultivated 
trees still grow throughout that region. I have seen carobs 
in South Portugal overlooking the Atlantic; in Valencia, 
eastern Spain, overlooking the western Mediterranean; in 
Majorca, overlooking the northern Mediterranean; in Algeria, 
the south Mediterranean. On the stony slopes of Mount 
Carmel I saw gnarly old specimens and young newly grafted 
trees overlooking the eastern Mediterranean. Because the 
carob is easily injured by frost, it hugs close to the sea shore 
in Mediterranean lands and is especially important in Mediter- 
ranean islands — Sardinia, Cyprus, and Sicily — (90,000 tons 
per year). It even rises to the point of chief export of the 

1 "Fruit of this tree is variously known as carob, carob bean, algaroba, 
algarroba, karoub, caroubier, locust, sweet bread, sugar pod, and St. John's 
bread." (Scientific American, January 11, 1913.) 

* John S. Armstrong, Orchard and Farm, February, 1919. 





Mediterranean island of Cyprus • where its per capita export 
value in 1924 ($4.00) was greater than that of grain and 
grain products and forest products from the United States. 

The carob is an evergreen tree with rich glossy evergreen 
foliage. It blooms in the autumn and, like the orange, carries 
the young fruit to the end of the next summer. 

This tree is in itself an example of two parts of the tree 
crops thesis; namely, the tree is the best means of getting 
harvests from steep land and also from arid land. 


Everywhere the carob takes second-class land, either rocky 
or dry. On the plains of Valencia the irrigable land is in 
oranges and garden crops, but ten feet above the last irriga- 
tion ditch the carob and the olive begin making a crop on 
the rocky hillside of the semi-arid land. This is the case in 
Majorca, in Cyprus, in Algeria, and on Mt. Carmel, and most 
Mediterranean lands. Sometimes carob trees cling to hillsides 
which seem to be almost pure rock. In Sicily it is an indis- 
pensable shade tree. 

3 "Wild carob trees abound all over the island." (Report of Director of 
Agriculture for Cyprus, p. 81, 1898.) 

University of California Publication, "Feeding Dairy Calves in Cali- 
fornia," Bulletin No. 271, September, 1916, p. 32, by F. W. Woll and E. C. 
Voorhis, says: 

"According to Pott (Futtermittellehre, Vol. II, pp. 453-55), the crushed 
carob pods are frequently used in England for fattening sheep, and 
for ewes with lambs, also in connection with other concentrates for fat- 
tening steers. It is used in France as a feed for milch cows and young 
stock, and in southern Italy and other countries as a concentrate for horses 
and for growing pigs. British horses are at times fed as much as three 
kilos (6.6 pounds) per head of carobs daily, either cooked and mixed with 
cut straw or raw. Fattening steers are also fed preferably cooked carobs 
towards the end of the fattening period. For horses it is not even neces- 
sary to crush the pods. In southern Italy nobody would think of doing it, 
although the strong pony-like horses do not receive any other concentrates 
and are fed only hay or green feed in addition." 

4 M. Trabut, the government botanist at Algiers, told me that he had 
seen carob tree roots at a depth of sixty feet on the hills of northern 


In Tunis I have seen them in arid locations where the 
rainfall was about ten inches. 

Unfortunately the carob is injured by winter temperatures 
of 20° F. or even a little above. 6 This limits the crop to ap- 
proximately those lands where the temperature is suitable 
for the orange. However, as the orange is a water-lover, it 
requires good irrigable land, while the carob is a drought- 
resister, and it therefore occupies the rocky land above. The 
climatic relationship of the carob and the orange is well 
illustrated in the Valencia district of Spain, which contains 
four-fifths of the Spanish orange acres and two-fifths of 
Spanish carob acres. 

Nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean countries the 
carob is a supply crop. It is like corn on the American farm, 
something to be fed to the farm animals. A few localities ex- 
port it. A few thousand tons are exported from Algeria, but 
it reaches its greatest commercial importance in Cyprus, where 

The Origin of Cultivated Plants, by Alphonse de Condolle, says, "It 
does not pass the northern limit beyond which the orange cannot be grown 
without shelter. This fine evergreen tree does not thrive where there is 
much humidity." 

The following statement seems to show that carobs vary in resistance to 

"Eighteen degrees of frost do not injure the carob to any extent. Frost 
conditions that did marked damage to citrus trees made no impression on 
carobs growing within a few feet of them." (Monthly Bulletin, State Com- 
mission of Horticulture, Sacramento, Calif., Vol. V, No. 8, "The Carob," 
p. 292.) 

6 An unpublished report of American Consul C. I. Dawson at Valencia, 
Spain, January 28, 1913, "The carob is a leguminous growth, indigenous 
to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and particularly to the east coast 
of Spain, where for centuries it has been the principal forage crop of this 
intensely cultivated region. The tree is not frequently cultivated as a crop 
of primary importance. Except for a few well-kept plantations it usually 
occupies the least valuable parcels of land in the irrigated plain. 

"The tree apparently flourishes equally well in any soil except stiff clays 
or other compact formations. 

"The flowering period begins at the tenth or twelfth year, but forty or 
more years pass before the tree is in full bearing. Then under normal con- 
ditions the hardiest varieties will yield crops with little variation from 
year to year, for generations and even hundreds of years. 

"The average annual yield of carobs per tree is placed at no pounds, 



the carob furnishes twenty per cent, of the exports. The 
export next in importance is animals, which are in part the 
product of carob food. 


How much do carob trees yield? It is very difficult to get 
reliable figures of yield of crops. This is true even for apples 
in the United States. Since most Mediterranean carobs are 
grown helter-skelter in chance and irregular locations, most 
figures are estimates and in making estimates it is easy to 
let the influence of the phenomenal tree run away with the 
lead pencil. 

and in cultivated plantations 24 trees are set out to the hectare (2.47 acres). 
At the current market price of the fruit — 76 cents a bushel (60 lbs.) — the 
crop would return $33.44 gross per hectare. Cultivation is estimated to cost 
$14.00 per hectare, leaving a net income of $19.44 to which may be added 
$2.20 for the prunings (which are sold as fire wood). This gives a profit 
of 8.65 per cent, on an estimated investment of $250 per hectare including 
the cost of the land, budded stock, cultivation, and compound interest on the 
actual outlay until the tree begins to bear profitable crops. In 1910, 271,000 
acres in this consular district were reported to yield an average of 1,180 
pounds of carobs per acre. 

"In the vast irrigated plain of Valencia there exist a few important 
plantations which produce per tree far in excess of the no-pound average 
above stated. Individual trees frequently yield 600 to 900 pounds of carobs 
every year, and instances are known where crops of two and three times 
these figures were gathered from single trees. Cultivated plantations are 
quite profitable to the owners and amply demonstrate the possibilities of 
the carob tree under the most favorable conditions of care and cultivation. 

"The carob is commonly used in conjunction with fresh and dry alfalfa 
as fodder for draft animals in heavy agricultural and industrial work 
and less extensively as forage for sheep, goats, cows, and hogs. It under- 
goes no process of manufacture or treatment whatever, being fed to the 
stock as gathered from the trees. Sometimes the meat of the finer varieties 
is ground and used with wheat flour in the daily diet of the poorer classes. 

"Despite the economic value of the carob tree, its easy and inexpensive 
cultivation in soils often valueless for more remunerative crops, the regu- 
larity of yield, and the simplicity of the harvest, it is doubtless true that 
both acreage and production are declining. The reason is said to be the 
improved conditions in the orange and olive industries, the extensions of 
which are made at the expense of the carob." 

7 "The yield of these pods per tree is often great. Some trees frequently 



The United States Consul Dawson at Valencia got a 
Spanish figure of one thousand one hundred and eighty 
pounds per acre as the average annual production. 

As the result of a conference between a leading dealer and 
the local agronomist official in the town of Faro in South 
Portugal, I was told that the ordinary carob tree would yield 
one hundred to one hundred and thirty pounds; a very good 
tree three hundred to four hundred pounds; and an unusual 
tree sixteen hundred to eighteen hundred pounds. They 
further said that ordinary land with carob would bear on the 
average about forty-four hundred pounds per acre, and that a 
good stand of carob trees raised the value of rocky ground 
from three hundred to seven hundred dollars per hectare 
(2.47 acres). 

In this locality the carobs were very common. They were 
almost always in sight and almost invariably standing at 
random where a tree had sprung up by chance and then had 
been grafted. Personally I prefer to cut this figure of average 
yield in two. 

Mr. Louisides of Larnaca, Cyprus, says, "We very often 
see large trees yielding nine to ten hundred weights," and he 
claims that there are farms in Cyprus that make more than 
one hundred hundred weights per acre per year on the average. 
This gentleman, who was a leading steamship agent of Larnaca 
and an esteemed correspondent of the American Consul at 
Beirut, reiterated this and other strong statements after I had 
expressed some doubt about the statements being accurate. 

produce as much as eight hundred or nine hundred pounds." (The Scientific 
American, January 11, 1913.) 

A circular on cultural directions for the carob issued by the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture, January 21, 1908, speaks of trees that may reach 
sixty feet height, seventy-five foot spread, and a yield of three thousand 
pounds of beans. 

8 Letter from P. J. Louisides, Larnaca, Cyprus, August 29, 1913: 

"As the carob tree in Cyprus is self-planted, it is rather difficult to esti- 
mate the exact yield per acre. 

"Generally there are fifty to sixty trees in an acre of land at the age of 



Of only one regularly planted carob orchard have I had 
an absolutely measured record of which I am reasonably sure. 
The owner was an educated Frenchman, M. Chouillou, living 
a few miles up the river from Bougie on the northern coast of 
Algeria. His trees, which were twenty years old, were planted 
on well-drained alluvium. They were interplanted with grapes. 
There was still almost a full stand of grapes. Often only one 
vine was missing where the carob tree stood. From the six- 
teenth to the twentieth year in addition to a full crop of grapes 
this orchard produced on the average eight hundred and 
seventy-five pounds of carob beans per acre. The selling price 
was the same as that of corn, and taking fifty-six pounds to 
the bushel it figures up to 15.6 bushels per acre and compares 
favorably with 19.7 bushels of corn reported by the United 
States Department of Agriculture for the five years, 1921-25, 

fifty to five hundred years, and each tree brings in one to eight cwt. a 
year according to the age of the tree and fertility of the ground. 

"After a careful inquiry in the matter we find that these trees yield sev- 
enty to eighty cwt. in an acre each season, and this quantity is considered 
out here quite normal. 

"Trees which are grown in fields yield much more fruit than those on 
the mountains, and we very often see large trees yielding nine to ten cwt. 

"The quality of carobs produced in the fields is much inferior to those 
on the mountains. 

"It occurs that the crop is sometimes less than the usual outcome, but 
at any rate there is always a crop. We do not take into consideration the 
large trees which yield more than two cwts., and we can assure you that 
there are farmers who earn more than one hundred cwt. per acre every 

"P.S. One cwt. is equal to one hundred and twelve pounds." 

Letter from P. J. Louisides, Larnaca, Cyprus, May 22, 1913: 

Locust tree, Supplementary Report submitted by U. S. Consul at Beirut, 
dated April 24, 1913. "The annual rainfall of the region in Cyprus producing 
the locust beans varies from 21.88 to 27.25 inches. As we have already said, 
the locust tree can be planted in any land except in marshy places. It 
grows in rocky places and in limestone too and withstands the driest 

"The locust tree in Cyprus is found self-planted on unplowed rough 



in North Carolina; 14.3 reported for South Carolina; and 
12.3 reported for Georgia. 

The above figures of yield, eight hundred and seventy-five 
pounds, should be compared with the eleven hundred and 
eighty pounds per year reported by Mr. Dawson for the 
Spanish crop. 

I wish to emphasize the great value of this French testi- 
mony as to accuracy and also as to its significance as an ex- 
ample of the two-story type of agriculture. The plantation was 
run by an intelligent Frenchman assisted by his educated 
grown son. Their plantation of grapes, interspersed with carob 
trees at a distance of fifty feet, was as regular as a geometric 
diagram and as clean as a Chinese garden. The grapes were 
sprayed by American machinery. I asked about the yields of 
the carob. The men took me into a neat stone building. Near 
the door stood a good platform scale suitable for weighing 
sacks or packages. We went to the office in one corner and 
there they showed me books in which were recorded tables 
of yields for a dozen years. A druggist could not have seemed 
more exact. 

They emphasized the fact that barley grew well right under 
the carob trees and said that the yield of grapes was absolutely 
the same as that of similar lands alongside which did not 
have carob trees. The appearance of the grapevines gave 
support to the claim. The effects of the open top of the 
carob trees and the blazing Algerian sun need to be consid- 
ered. Fifteen hectares of newly planted carob demonstrated 

the satisfaction of these French farmers 
years' experiment. 

with the twenty 

They told me that work mules doing full labor did well on 
the straw of oats and all the carob beans they would eat. 

9 Their method of planting was: Get seeds from a manure heap. Plant 
them in pots. Transplant to the field when one meter high. Bud the next 
year. Get the first fruit four or five years later. It should be noted that 
their plantation (Fig. 31) was only twenty years old, which would be con- 
sidered young for carob. 




After having traveled through the carob districts of Spain, 
Portugal, and Algeria, I wonder that many of the trees can 
yield at all, so shocking is the treatment to which the soil 
has been subjected for centuries. The trees almost invariably 
were scattered at random on rough land that was pastured. 
Pasturage is a steady removal of fertility. In most cases the 
good soil has been removed by the erosion of tillage, by hoof 
beats, and by the pattering of rain drops. Often little but a 
rocky framework remains. The bean crop is also usually car- 
ried away from the trees — another removal of fertility. 

Certainly the soil of an average Mediterranean carob plan- 
tation has been treated worse than the test plats of Rotham- 
stead Experiment Station, England, which have been continu- 
ously in wheat for generations in order to test the fundamental 
and enduring fertility of the soil, which in that case proved 
to be about enough to yield eight bushels of wheat per acre, 
a quarter of the average English yield. 


After these many centuries of Old World experience the 
carob has joined the procession of Mediterranean crops emi- 
grating to that section of the United States (California) hav- 
ing the Mediterranean climate. California suddenly discovers 
that it has carob trees, much carob land, and the possibility 
of an industry. 

In hustling California this millennial crop tree is still in the 
introductory stage, but it has received the scrutiny of the 
inventive Yankee mind, and discoveries which may help to 
revolutionize the industry have already been made and put to 

One of these discoveries applies to the growth of the trees, 
and others to the use of the beans. For years I have been 


■ssff gSJJft ?5£ A^r* DOd ****■»■* >* -a «** 


. , ;i 




FIG. 28. Top. An expanse of young carobs on the eastern foothills of 
the Great Valley of California. — FIG. 29. Bottom. Young carob plants 
showing root development resulting from growth in slats. This long 
root, in combination with ability to plant it uninjured in a vertical position 
with minimum of effort, is an invention of great importance for tree crops 
in dry land agriculture. (Photos H. J. Webber.) 


stating that it was possible that tree crops such as chestnuts 
and acorns might be made into acceptable human foods by 
machine manufacture in factories. Nevertheless, it was with 
some surprise that I found some Californians of 1927 turning 
out acceptable factory-made food products from the carob 
beans imported from Europe. In 1927 one Los Angeles com- 
pany claimed an output of many loaves of carob bread a 
day. 10 

It is said that the carob makes excellent cereal, candy, and 
syrup" — a pound of syrup from a pound of beans — a fact 
that is almost staggering. The candy, which seemed also to 
have coconut in it, as well as the easily recognized carob 
flavor, was an instant success in my family; and we all liked 
the flavor of syrup made from carob. 

The analyses of carob (page 302), with its very high sugar 

10 I call this rainbow bread. I could never quite find the end of it. As 
the story came to me first it was one thousand loaves per day by one com- 
pany, and I saw an airplane picture of a vast factory labeled "The Home 
of Carob Bread." It looked almost as large as an automobile factory. I 
tried to verify. I could never find that factory, but I was credibly informed 
that the bread industry had been primarily brought about by persons trying 
to sell new-planted carob land — new bait in an old, old, yet ever new game. 
Latest reports indicated (January, 1928) that the land-selling idea had 
collapsed and that the bread industry was surviving, 1,200 one and one-half 
pound loaves per day — 25 per cent, carob in the recipe. 

Lest I should appear unsympathetic, I wish to state my belief that carob 
beans are good material for human food. This is true of at least two hun- 
dred other materials not now used to any large extent or not used at all 
for food in the United States. The question is, who can make us eat these 
new things? A pig or calf eats what is set before him. People in rich 
America eat what pleases them, and one of the last things any reformer 
can do is to change food habits. Apparently there is no reason other than 
inertia why carob bread should not come to great importance. Food fac- 
tories now open the way (Cf. p. 153), but don't forget inertia. 

1 ' Mr. Lawrence Holmes, a large grower at Arlington, California, wrote 
June 16, 1927: 

"Every pound of carob makes a full pound of carob syrup, which I con- 
sider far superior in flavor to maple sugar. It is sweeter and goes further. 
It mixes exceedingly well with milk and preserves the milk to keep twice 
as long; and if one did not know that the milk was mixed with carob 
syrup, he would mistake it for a chocolate malted milk." 



content, show remarkable food values and even suggest the 
possibility of rivalry to cane sugar and beet sugar. 12 

Human foods from carobs must stand at present on the 
list of perfectly good possibilities. Meanwhile there is an 
open door for their use as a stock food. Carob stock food has 
the outstanding and perfectly established qualities. 


The carob tree is demonstrating itself in California in a 
manner much like that by which so many other Mediterranean 
crop plants have come to the front. Early plantings n in the 
first few decades of American occupation resulted in fruiting 
trees by 1885. As a result the California State Horticulturist 
reported in 1890, "No tree distributed by the stations is more 
likely to make a popular shade or ornamental tree for dry 
rocky situations." ' 

In 1912 Dr. Aaron Aaronson visited California and re- 
ported that individual carob trees in Palestine produced three 
to five hundred pounds, and five tons to an acre might be 
produced.' 3 

12 The cane sugar production of Louisiana per acre for the five year 
period, 1921-25, was 1,988 pounds, while the beet sugar fields of the United 
States yielded about three thousand pounds. It may be easier to produce a 
ton of carob beans than of sugar beets or sugar cane. The process for 
manufacturing carob sugar is entirely unsolved, but in this age of chemical 
engineering it should be a comparatively simple matter to develop a tech- 
nique if desirable. 

3 H. J. Webber, Professor of Sub-tropical Horticulture in the Univer- 
sity of California and Director of the Citrus Experiment Station at River- 
side, says in a letter of February 14, 1927: 

"The carob has been planted more or less all over southern California, 
largely as a street tree, but in some places commercial plantings have been 
made. The tree has proved hardy and very drought-resistant. After it is 
once started it thrives fairly well without irrigation, which indicates that 
it is quite drought-resistant, as it is very few plants, for instance the pepper 
tree and eucalyptus, that manage to survive at all here in southern Cali- 
fornia without irrigation." 

14 P. 431, Bulletin 9, California Agricultural Experiment Station, article 
entitled The Carob in California, I. J. Condit, June, 1919. 

15 "Dr. Aaronson, of Palestine, who attended the Fresno Convention in 
1912, said that seedling trees will produce an average of 350 to 500 pounds 



This statement seems to have started the Californian mind 
to examining the Californian carobs. The Experiment Station 
reported that carob beans tested out a little better than barley 
when mixed with milo and fed to calves for 13 weeks as a 
grain ration supplementing the milk and alfalfa hay ration 
fed in addition. 18 

Mr. C. W. Beers, Horticultural Commissioner at Santa 
Barbara, went up and down the state studying carob trees. 
He told me in June, 1917, by letter, that twenty-year-old 
seedlings, fourteen feet across the tops, had produced one 
hundred and fifty pounds of beans for three consecutive 



per tree. Twenty trees to the acre will thus produce three and a half to five 
tons each year. He reports grafted trees, eighteen years old, bearing nine 
hundred to eleven hundred pounds each." (The Monthly Bulletin, State 
Commission of Horticulture, Sacramento, California, Vol. V, No. 8, p. 290, 
The Carob. 

16 University of California publications, Bulletin No. 271, September 

1916, by F. W. Woll and E. C. Voorhis: 

Lot I, Carob pods and ground milo, 1:1 by weight. 

Lot II, Ground barley and ground milo, fed in the same proportion. 


Average age at beginning, Lot I, Carob and milo 28 days 

Average age at beginning, Lot II, Barley and milo 30 days 

Lot I Lot II 

Average weight per head, at beginning, pounds 131.8 116.7 

Average gains in body weight per day, pounds 1.81 1.70 

17 C. W. Beers, Horticultural Commissioner, Santa Barbara, June 14, 

1917, "The carob trees that are bearing one hundred and fifty pounds each 
are about twenty years old. They have never had any attention since hav- 
ing been planted and have fought their way in land well grassed over, 
never having been irrigated. They are about twelve feet to fourteen feet 
across and about the same in height." 

Letter from Mr. Beers, June 30, 1917: 

"The carob mentioned as bearing one hundred and fifty pounds a year 
has been very regular in this production for the past three years, which is 
as long a period as I have been observing them. I believe they can be con- 
sidered as regularly bearing this quantity. 

"The ground upon which these trees are growing is overlaid with a very 
heavy deep clay hard pan, which precludes the probability of sub-irrigation. 
The rainfall is about fourteen inches a year. The land is sloping towards 







The geographic possibilities for carob culture in California 
seem to me to be excellent. The carob grows in orange climate. 
California has a large area with orange climate. As a thermal 
belt above the frosty valley floors it stretches for a great 
distance along the eastern edge of the Great Valley. It also 
rings around much of the shore and lowland between San 
Francisco and San Diego. Please note that I am speaking of 
orange climate (temperature). Since the orange trees are water 
hogs and California is a land of almost rainless summer, the 
orange can only be grown where irrigation is possible. 
Naturally this is but a small fraction of the land with orange 
temperature. Therefore, the major part of California land 
having orange temperature cannot become orange land, but 
much of it may become carob land, since this tree can survive 
and even bear a light crop in the rainless summer. Sample 
plantings years ago have proved that the carob will thrive 
over an area much larger than the possible orange area. 18 

the ocean and is a heavy soil, but is probably not over two hundred feet 
elevation above sea level. It is about three miles to the ocean front. 

"The remark about being grassed over may need this explanation, namely, 
that the grass is green only through the winter and early spring, while at 
this time of the year it is brown and apparently dead." 

Mr. Beers had published a similar summary in the California Cultivator 
of April 9, 1914. 

18 University of California publications, The Carob in California, by 
I. J. Condit, Bulletin No. 309, June 1919, says: 

"Experience has shown that the trees when young are no hardier than 
orange trees. When once established, however, the carob is more frost-re- 
sistant than the orange. . . . Even if the blossoms escape injury from cold 
and rain, the developing fruit is liable to be killed by frost later on. For 
this reason the successful production of carob pods in the interior valleys 
is practically limited to the citrus belts along the foothills. The carob tree 
thrives in regions of intense heat, such as the Imperial and Coachella val- 
leys where the winters are mild." 

Mr. G. P. Rixford, Physiologist at U. S. Department of Agriculture 
Field Station, Crop Physiology and Breeding Investigations, San Francisco, 
California, said in a letter of February 6, 1917, "It frequently happens 
that the flowers which are produced in late fall or early winter are de- 
stroyed by frost, which does not affect the tree itself but prevents its 



Can California have a vast carob industry? Probably, but 
it will take years of experiment to prove it. 

(a) Most of the roadside carob trees of California have 
been watered a little. Therefore, we cannot predict too much 
from them. The carob industry must depend on rain and rain 
only. Twenty-five years of test in twenty-five localities may 
tell how good the carob is for an industry in California. This 
book is being written to urge testing and improving. It does 
not urge large-scale commercial plantings of things that do 
well in single trees. 

In favor of the carob is the fact that Californians know 
little of the tree-crop possibilities of their unirrigated land 
because they have not yet tried the complete conservation and 
use of all rainfall (see Chapter XXIII on farm practice, espe- 
cially water-pocket irrigation). 

(b) The roadside tree or any isolated tree is a liar (almost) 
anyhow. The tree itself is of course innocent, but it is a great 
aid to a liar. One of the greatest lie recipes on earth is as 
follows: Take 

(1) A single tree 

(2) A number of trees per acre 

"There are trees near Centerville, Alameda County, planted by the late 
Professor E. W. Hilgard, University of California, that are now thirty 
years old and are annually producing regular crops of pods. The cold 
wave of January, 1913, was the severest frost in thirty years. Trees grow- 
ing as far north as Biggs, Butte County, were somewhat injured but have 
fully recovered. I think this may be considered, perhaps, the northern range 
of the tree in California. In most parts of California, the tree must be 
planted in the least frosty localities, which are usually not far from the 
sea, or in the citrus belt of the Sierra foothills. The tree will certainly en- 
dure as much frost as the orange, but for the reasons mentioned above 
may fail to produce its crops of pods. However, it is a beautiful tree and 
is worth growing for ornament and can be successfully grown over a large 
part of California, and where the conditions are favorable it will be a very 
profitable producer of pods, which are equal in nutrients to barley for all 
kinds of stock and even for poultry when ground." 

Mr. G. P. Rixford in another letter of February 26, 1917, said: 
"I have no doubt there are large areas about and above the citrus belt 
where the tree could be planted with reasonable expectations of success." 

2 £ <= 




trees for highway planting with excellent results. A careful 
investigation shows, however, that many of these seedling 
trees are maturing crops ranging up to eight hundred pounds. 
Quite a number have been reported as yielding three hundred 
and fifty to six hundred pounds. 

"I have experimental plantings aggregating about seven 
acres, some of which are four years old, budded and beginning 
to bear. My experience in bringing them on is what makes me 
interested in the proposed economic unit." 

A particular tract of land that was yielding less than one- 
half ton of barley to the acre on the California continuous- 
soil-rubber-gully-washing system has been planted with carob. 
These pioneer planters are figuring on three tons to the acre. 
In the absence of all acreage data they would do well to divide 
this in two. In considering yields it should be remembered that 
the carob is a legume furnishing its own nitrogen, and nitrogen 
shortage is one of the great troubles of California agriculture, 
as it is of most other agricultures. 

The conservationist should note that since the carob tree 
lends itself admirably to the small reservoir system of water 
conservation described on page 262, we may expect two checks 
on erosion — one with its roots and one with its field reservoirs. 
This latter might be one of its greatest advantages to the state 
through increase of water supply (page 289). 


A very important Yankee discovery in connection with the 
carob is a greatly improved system of transplanting the trees. 
The young carob, like most trees of arid lands, has a root 
several times as long as the top. Thus it survives drought. 
But transplanting becomes a problem in a climate of 100° F. 
in summer, where there is no rain from April until October 
or November, and then only twelve to twenty inches in a 
season of winter rain. Planting the little seeds in place is slow 
and difficult, and the rabbits eat the leaves of seedlings if 




they can reach them. Growing in a pot is exasperating and 
at times injurious to a tree that yearns to send roots straight 
into the ground and needs such a root when it gets to the 
field. Some California genius invented the so-called splint 
system. The tree is grown in a little tube of earth an inch or 
more square and two or three feet long, walled in by four 
plastering laths. These lath tubes are arranged in banks in- 
clined at an angle of sixty degrees. One lath is soaked in 
nitrate of soda solution, and to this the little tree clings as 
ivy to a pole. Thus the little four-inch tree with two feet of 
roots sticking fast to the lath may have its whole long root 
system inserted into a crow-bar hole deep in the ground. 

This discovery alone may make success where before a 
very high percentage of loss might have meant delay and 
greatly increased cost. 


In addition to roadside trees a few plantings have been 
made, some of them over large areas. 

A carob boom may be expected any time, and I would not 
be surprised if this tree becomes the basis of another series 
of extensive land swindles of which there have been so many 
in the history of American agriculture — a swindle based upon 
small tracts planted by the promoter for absentee owners. 
There are few surer bases of loss for the investor. This hard 
statement has been proved over and over again with apples, 
oranges, and pecans and probably will be proved several more 
times. Perhaps the carob will be the next demonstrating 

20 Mr. Lawrence Holmes, Box 253, Arlington, California, in a letter of 
June 16, 1927, said, "Carob pods grown here which I have had analyzed by 
food chemists give the fruit from one tree located in the city of Riverside 
24 per cent, protein and 47V2 per cent, carbohydrate; hence we have a 
food that becomes a headliner and which has a greater variety of uses than 
any product that I know of growing on earth. 

"I have about 1,500 acres planted, all of which have been budded to 
the best varieties. Most of these buds were taken from the tree mentioned 



medium. The stage could scarcely be set better — cheap land, 
good for little else; an exotic plant; an old industry; the charm 
of the word California; the magic of distance, for swindles 
brighten as the miles increase. Comparatively few people get 
stuck by the industry around the corner. 

There is little reason to believe that we are growing carobs 
of the best varieties obtainable. We are probably propagating 
nothing but chance seedlings. The slowness with which many 
of the best varieties come into bearing would indicate that 
proper breeding might produce much more precocious strains. 
Like many other trees they vary in resistance to cold — offering 
the possibility of more frost-resistant varieties. 

The table of analyses on page 302 shows remarkable vari- 
ation in content. See especially in that table the figures in 
No. 2201 and 2371, and the protein variation between the 
maximum and minimum of the whole bean (pods and seeds); 
these offer interesting possibilities of breeding carobs of spe- 
cial qualifications such as high in sugar for sugar manufacture 
or high in protein for milk-making and growth-making foods. 

Carob improvement offers two lines of work: 

(a) Crossing carobs. 

(b) Hybridizing carobs with some of the numerous allied 
species, particularly some of the American mesquites and the 
South American algaroba (page 73), which have so much 
greater resistance to frost. A strain of the Hawaiian algaroba 
might add both precocity and productivity. This is work for 
individual enthusiasm," for private endowments, and for state 
experiment stations supported by legislatures with vision. 
Where are these stations? 

21 One Californian is said to have devoted a private fortune to breeding 
avocados. I'm sure he had a lot of fun and rendered a great service. 



The algaroba (keawe) of Hawaii is limited to the arid 
and semi-arid lands of the frostless tropics, and apparently 
it must be situated close to sea level. The carob is limited to 
the orange-growing sections of regions with the Mediterranean 
type of climate. But the Creator did not neglect the humid 
East. The honey locust (gleditsia triacanthos), a cousin to the 
carob and keawe, offers a great crop possibility to a million 
square miles of the eastern United States in the climates 
of corn and cotton. This promising tree is native from New 
York to Nebraska, from Louisiana to Minnesota, and has 
proved its adaptability beyond this area. 1 It does well in 
California, for example. 

1 "Of all the species tested in many parts of western Kansas, the honey 
locust is the most conspicuous success. 

"Its rate of growth is only moderate, but the rate is maintained for 
many years. A large proportion of the trees planted have good form; and 
they are strong in stem and branch, not often injured by wind or ice 

"In a demonstration block planted eighteen years ago and neglected for 
so long a time that the buffalo sod had gained a secure foothold, the honey 
locust has made a very creditable growth. The best trees have reached a 
height of twenty-three feet and a diameter of six inches. At Dodge City 
the honey locust trees have done very well indeed." (Kansas State Agri- 
cultural College Experiment Station, Bulletin 165, pp. 316-17.) 

Ft. Collins, Colorado, 
September 11, 1916. 
"It will stand as much exposure as any other forest tree that we have. 
We have some groves in this section doing well without irrigation with a 
normal rainfall around fourteen inches. 

"(Signed) E. P. SANDSTEN." 

"This species is particularly adapted to the West, as it stands consider- 
able drought and low temperature. It grows very well on the high table 


=5F g 

FIG. 36. Top. The top of an old fallen honey locust tree at 
Wake Forest, N. C, showing the full crop of beans that this 
species sometimes bears. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) — FIG. 37. 
Bottom, Mesquite bush showing the scanty development of the 
leaves and full crop of beans which, being about six inches 
long, show that the bush is larger than it appears; perhaps 
eight or ten feet in height. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr.) 




Like the algaroba and the carob, the beans of the honey 
locust are greedily devoured by farm animals and sometimes 
are eaten by the children. 2 

Compare its analysis with that of wheat bran and corn, 
page 302. 

Speaking of his locust beans a farmer said affectionately, 
"They hang on the tree close as your fingers. They hang on 
there till a freeze comes and then they turn black and fall 
off and the cows get in then and eat 'em. Maybe they don't 
like 'em!" 

He pointed to a honey locust tree in his field that had 
filled a two-horse wagon full of beans, which was about ten 
bushels. The tree had a girth of sixty-four inches and a spread 
of forty feet. An acre would hold twenty such trees. 

land in western Nebraska, where the annual rainfall is only about sixteen 
inches. More than almost any other tree that we have, it will also grow in 
a soil that is alkali. While we do not have a great deal of alkali soil in the 
West, there are some of the valleys where the honey locust will do very 
well and where other trees will fail." (Letter, Chet G. Marshall, Marshall's 
Nurseries, Arlington, Nebraska, March 24, 1928.) 

For distribution see reports of prize contest in Journal of Heredity, 1927 

Speaking of customs on the Georgia plantation of her youth, a South- 
ern woman wrote, "One of those customs was in regard to the honey locust. 
Not only the pigs and cows ate the pods that dropped from the honey lo- 
cust, but the negroes and the white children ate them as well. I can't say 
if all the grown-up white people ate them, but I know that my mother ap- 
proved of our eating them, for she liked to eat them herself." (A letter 
from Mrs. J. W. Carlin, Alva, Oklahoma, Aug. 3, 1914.) 

Much interesting correspondence about honey locust has come into the 
office of the Journal of Heredity in response to offers for prizes for the 
best honey locust tree. There seems to be a widespread conviction that the 
beans are prized by nearly all kinds of American live stock. Several excerpts 
from these letters are as follows : 

"The cows eat the beans as fast as they fall." 

"And all bear an awful big crop of beans which the stock like so well 
that they will break down the fence to get them." 

"The cattle ate the pods I gave them with great relish." — Journal of 
Heredity, Vol. XIX, p. 223. 6 6 J 



3 3b 

I have found one man who had planted some honey locusts 
that his cattle might eat the beans in the field and also that 
he might harvest the beans for winter forage. That man is 
Lamartine Hardman, Governor of Georgia. 


This tree has a remarkable list of qualities. 

(1) It is beautiful and a good timber tree with a strong, 
durable, and beautiful wood. 3 

(2) It is a rapid grower. 4 

(3) Like the carob and the algaroba, it is a legume gath- 
ering nitrogen from the air to make its own proteins. This 
also enables it to fertilize the earth for other plants. 

(4) It is an open-top tree through which much light can 
pass to crops below, thereby favoring a two-story agriculture, 
like the carobs of Algeria (page 50). This is especially valu- 
able for pastures. It is possible that in some situations a pas- 
ture might be as good with honey locusts as without them. 

_ "This wood is heavy, hard, and strong, generally ranking with or above 
white oak in these properties but somewhat below those for black locust. 
Honey locust is not important from the lumberman's standpoint, although 
a few logs are occasionally sawed into lumber. The principal use of the 
wood is for posts and railroad ties, as it is quite durable in the ground. 
The lumber is generally used for furniture and inside finish of houses and 
is said to be often mixed with sycamore for these uses." (A letter from 
H. S. Betts, Engineer in Forest Products, U. S. Department of Agricul- 
ture, Forest Service, Washington, Jan. 28, 1927.) 

4 "It is a rapid grower; an annual increase of two feet in height and 
one-half inch in diameter is not uncommon in favorable locations for a 
score or more years, and in less favorable locations it will generally add a 
foot or more in height, and in diameter fully one-third of an inch." 
(Elliott, The Important Timber Trees of the United States, pp. 324-25.) 

5 An editorial in the Breeder's Gazette, 1926, emphasizing this point, led 
to the following detailed report about a hillside planted to the black locust, 
robinia pseudacacia, a tree with agricultural characteristics greatly like the 
honey locust: 

"The ground on which the locusts were planted consisted of a hillside, 
sloping abruptly to the south. It has two rough gullies in it. The land is 
unsuitable for cultivation both because of the roughness of the two gullies 
and the steepness of the slope. The virgin timber had been removed before 
the farm was acquired by my father. The soil was covered by a good blue- 
grass sod; but the exposure to the sun was such that the grass dried up 



(5) It is a productive tree. One correspondent tells me of 
a tree producing six consecutive crops estimated at twenty 
bushels each. 

Mr. J. M. Preston 7 of the Branch Experiment Station at 
Hays, Kansas, gathering seeds for planting, reports a tree 
with seven-inch or eight-inch trunk, producing eighty pounds 
of beans, and another tree in Manhattan, Kansas, from which 
he gathered "about four hundred pounds of pods." He re- 
ported that this tree had a trunk of two and one-half feet in 
diameter, broad top, and bore in 1911 and 1912, but failed 
in 1913. 

(6) Frequent reports of consecutive crops 8 seem to indi- 
cate that the honey locust is a regular bearer as trees go, 
and apparently it can be expected to produce crops with 
greater regularity than most fruit or nut trees. 

early in the summer. It was with a view to making this land valuable for 
pasture that the locusts were planted. Young locusts were planted early in 
the spring and the ground covered with straw to hold moisture until the 
trees became properly rooted. The locust trees soon shaded the ground, and 
the pasture on that hillside has been excellent ever since. Aside from the 
pasture this tract has yielded a large number of fence posts." (Letter from 
Llewellyn Bonham, the Bonham Engineering Company, Oxford, Ohio, 
February 23, 1927.) 

6 "This tree has borne uniformly large crops for six years consecutively 
to my knowledge. I have never measured or weighed the pods but I have 
thought that twenty bushels would be a minimum estimate. 

"It is a big nuisance as far as the lawn is concerned. 

"As the pods are falling through a long season, many lodge on the roofs 
and are blown to quite a distance sometimes." (A letter from S. P. 
Thomas, Ashton, Maryland, August 4, 1913.) 

7 Letter, August 18, 1913. 

8 "In regard to the honey locust, will say that the fruit of this tree is 
rarely injured by spring frosts and the result is we have a heavy crop 
every year." (A letter from C. C. Newman, The Clemson Agricultural 
College of South Carolina, Clemson College, South Carolina, July 17, 1913.) 

"It has so many beans that the branches bend down like a fruit tree." 
(L. F. Quisenberry, R. No. 2, Moberly, Mo.) 

"The tree grows in a Bermuda pasture and is always loaded in the fall 
with luscious fruit. The cows and hogs stand under it, always ready to 
devour every pod that falls. The tree is very large and very, very beauti- 
ful. The cows improve in milk and the hogs in weight when the locusts 
ripen, for there are always bushels and bushels on the tree." (Ellen Wil- 
liams, Goldworth Farm, Villa Rica, Ga., R. No. 4, Box 10.) 



(7) The honey locust bean is of large size. This should 
make the crop easy to harvest. The beans are often one foot 
or more in length and 17 prize beans in the Journal of 
Heredity contest 1927-28 weighed a pound when bone-dry 
after weeks in the house. 

This large size, taken in connection with their tendency 
to curl up, should make them easy to harvest, possibly even 
with a rake. I have not tried it, but I think that large quan- 
tities could be raked up in a short time, even on ground 
that was not entirely smooth. Perhaps a special rake would 
need to be devised. Apparently the beans could then be picked 
up with a pitchfork and handled somewhat like hay. 

Experience with the gummy keawe (page 40) would indi- 
cate that some easy method of grinding these could be found. 
Thus another concentrated food could be added to the dietary 
of the American farm animals. 

(8) Once a good honey locust tree has been found it is 
easy to propagate l0 either by grafting or the still more simple 
system of root suckers, which bear the characteristics of the 
mother tree. 


In view of the above facts about the honey locust and 
the established industrial facts of the carob and keawe, I sug- 

' "The beans or pods are flat and black and measure as long as sixteen 
inches and about one and one-half inches wide; the honey lying in the 
thicker portion of the pod and the beans in the thin. I have seen them 
(trees) over eighty feet in height." (From a letter from F. F. Bessoe, 
Natchez, Mississippi, Scientific American, February 22, 1913.) 

10 "The inclination of this tree to sprout whenever the roots are broken 
or cut by the plow or cultivator would indicate that it could be readily 
propagated from root cuttings, though I have never known this to be done. 
"So far as is known to us all trees propagate as true to parent type by 
root propagation as through budding or grafting. It would seem quite 
likely that honey locust would propagate readily from cuttings, though ex- 
perimentation might be necessary in this." (Letter from Wm. A. Taylor, 
Assistant Chief of Bureau, United States Department of Agriculture, 
Bureau of Plant Industry, Office of Chief of Bureau, Washington, D. C, 
February 21, 1913.) 




gest that the honey locust tree is worthy, more than worthy, of 
extensive investigation and experiments. If the hill farmer has 
a chance of raking up a one-ton or a two-ton crop of bran 
material per acre from his blue grass pasture, at the same 
time that he gets good pasture and an annual increment 
of wood, we should certainly test out the possibilities. 

We need to select the best native trees and propagate them, 
and at the same time we need to breed better varieties because 
this species, like many other species, has much variation 11 
among its millions of specimens. 

Breeding from among selected specimens should produce 
much better strains. Then there is the indefinite but suggestive 
field of hybridization with other species, possibly carob, 
keawe, or the many species of mesquite and screw bean. (See 
Chapter VIII.) 

James Neilson, Professor of Horticulture, Fort Hope, On- 
tario, wishes to hybridize the honey locust with the Siberian 
pea tree (caragana arborescens), because this hedge plant is 
very hardy at Winnipeg and bears small pods of beans. 

How fine it would be if a million hills now gullying with 
corn or cotton or tobacco could be held in place by the roots 
of honey locust trees and an attendant crop of grass which 
ate nitrogen from the locust roots, while the landscape was 
made green and beautiful by the feathery tops of these trees, 
which at the same time yielded their ton or two of bran 
substitute per acre per year and also added to the accumulat- 
ing sawlogs and firewood. 

And yet Secretary of Agriculture Jardine tells me that his 
department cannot get funds for experimental work necessary 
to test such a possibility. 

11 "There are in certain localities in Kansas, and probably in other 
states, strains of the honey locust which are almost entirely thornless, and 
some of these are quite productive of fruit." (Letter from S. C. Mason, 
Aboriculturist, United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant 
Industry, Crop Physiology and Breeding Investigations, Washington, D. C, 
January 23, 1913.) 




Southern California has the carob for its bran tree, the 
corn and cotton belts have the honey locust for their bran tree, 
and the area between has the frost-resisting mesquites with 
their crops of beans. When one considers the ancient use of 
the mesquite, its present use, and its remarkably useful and 
promising qualities, it becomes difficult to understand why 
it also has been so greatly neglected by the scientific world. 


In analysis and use the mesquite beans are much like those 
of the old carob in the Old World. (See analysis, page 302.) 
They have chiefly been food for beast, but food for man also 
to a considerable extent. Some Indian tribes have had mes- 
quite bread as a staple food for an unknown period of time. 1 

A caravan of forty-niners " seeking the golden sands of 
California lost some of their oxen as they toiled under terrible 
privation down the Gila River valley in southern Arizona; 
but when they reached the Colorado, near the present city 
of Yuma, they came upon a "grove of hundreds of acres of 
Mosquit Beans. These trees were full of beans and hundreds 
of bushels lay on the ground. These beans were reputed to be 
excellent feed for the cattle. . . . We remained at this place 
seven days, and our cattle gained strength and flesh remark- 
ably fast, and with the two hundred bushels of beans we had 

1 "The Pima and Papago Indians in Arizona have always made use of 
mesquite beans as food for themselves and their stock, particularly horses; 
and I think they are yet quite an important article of subsistence among 
the Papagos." (Levi Chubbuck.) 

2 Unpublished journal of Charles Pancoast of Salem, N. J. 





loaded into our wagons, we felt warranted in making our start 
across the desert." 8 

As the mesquite aided the forty-niners, so it has aided 
many a prospector, 4 by feeding the beast that bore his equip- 
ment, but its chief use has been for animals on the range. 


Mesquite beans are especially valuable because they ripen 
in August at the very time when drought may be expected to 
reach its worst. The beans are greedily eaten by cattle, horse, 
and goats. As a rancher 6 put it, "I have mesquite in my pas- 
ture and value a crop of beans very highly. I let the stock 
eat the beans on the trees and a good bean crop means fat 

Similar testimony of the importance of the mesquite as 
range fodder comes from many parts of the Southwest. Some 

3 Unpublished journal of Charles Pancoast, Salem, New Jersey. I con- 
tinue to quote: "These Yuma Indians had a bad feeling towards the white 
people, and their hostility had lately been increased, in consequence of the 
acts of a lot of Texas emigrants, who, being too indolent to gather mesquite 
beans from the trees, broke open a number of Indian caches where they 
had stored their winter supply of the best screw beans, and loaded them 
in their wagons, for feed for their cattle. We did not do this, but picked 
up two hundred bushels or more from under the trees, and our cattle ate 
as much more, which did not please them very well, for it helped to dimin- 
ish the supply they relied upon for their winter's bread. The soldiers had 
some of the bread made by the Indians from these beans. It looked like 
rich cake made from the yolk of eggs or nice corn bread. I ate a little 
of it and found it sweet and palatable, having, however, a little of the 
astringent twang of the acorn. ..." 

4 "The mesquite is another bush or tree which is very abundant in the 
section lying southwest of the southern border of Utah, extending south- 
west over nearly to the coast. The mesquite bean is used in that section 
of the country quite extensively by the prospector and miner as food for 
their burros." (L. M. Winsor, San Luis Valley, Alamosa, Colorado.) 

5 "It was very noticeable during my work in Sulphur Spring Valley that 
the cattle were always in the mesquite bushes from the time they began to 
leaf out until the rainy season began, very few animals being found on 
the prairie; while as soon as the rains began, they transferred their grazing 
ground to the prairie." (R. W. Clothier, University of Arizona, Tucson, 

6 Letter, August 4, 1913, C. W. Underwood, Chillicothe, Texas. 

persons of responsibility report that the working horse does 
well on mesquite and that hogs have fattened satisfactorily 
on grass and mesquite beans. 

7 The following information is furnished by Mr. N. R. Powell, Pettus, 
Bee County, Texas: 

"About six years ago one thousand pounds of mesquite beans were gath- 
ered and ground with the hulls and were then pressed by the Beeville Oil 
Mill into cakes the same size as cottonseed cake. Some of these cakes 
were kept two years and fed to cattle, which seemed to do them as much 
good as cottonseed cake. The difference between mesquite beans and cot- 
ton seed is that the former does not have to be ground as it breaks up easily. 

"Some seasons, it is stated by Mr. Powell, as much as a trainload 
of mesquite beans are produced by him. This is when a dry spring and 
summer occur. A good bearing mesquite tree will produce from fifty to 
one hundred and fifty pounds. Mr. Powell states that he thinks the value 
of mesquite beans in southwest Texas, if properly cared for, would be 
more than one million dollars annually." (Letter, Rex E. Willard, Assistant 
Agriculturist, Brownsville, Texas, February 11, 1914.) 

"However, the mesquite grows more on the flats than it does in the 
mountains; but it does grow to some extent in the foothills; and when 
there is a good crop of beans, these furnish a great amount of feed for 
hogs and also cattle and horses. When the mesquite beans get ripe along 
in August, and where they are very thick, you can see the cattle and horses 
grazing on them a great deal all over the ranges; and especially if the 
grass is short, which occurs in a dry year, a great many animals get their 
sustenance from these beans. Mesquite beans have an exceptionally high 
value as feed for all classes of stock, and they are looked upon as very 
fattening. I know of several cases where swine were turned out on the 
sand hills during August and September, and though they secured practi- 
cally nothing else but the beans and what little grass they could get, they 
have been fattened sufficiently for market. There are other places in the 
mountains where they turn the hogs out just as they would cattle, and give 
them absolutely no feed, other than what they get themselves. The hogs 
range through the canyons and in the brush. I have seen a great many hogs 
gathered along before Christmas from places like this, and they were in 
as high finish as any you would find that had been fed in the lot. These 
are usually fattened on acorns. 

"In some places where the mesquite bushes are exceptionally thick the 
people, especially the natives, gather them and feed to their horses and 
cattle. I have used mesquite beans to feed to horses myself on trips over 
the country when we had no grain, and I find that they are not only rel- 
ished by the animals, but they are very good feed." (Letter from W. H. 
Simpson, Professor of Animal Husbandry, New Mexico College of Agri- 
culture and Mechanic Arts, State College, New Mexico, June 3, 1913.) 

"In the western and southwestern sections of the state the mesquite 
bean affords during some years a large proportion of the feed supply of 
the horses and cattle of those sections." (Letter from John C. Burns, Pro- 
fessor of Animal Husbandry, Agricultural and Mechanical College of 
Texas, College Station, Texas, June 6, 1912.) 



The wild mesquite is a crop plant of great promise if sci- 
entifically used and improved. It covers a wide territory and 
grows under very adverse conditions and in the unimproved 
state contains many good productive specimens. 


Robert C. Forbes, Director of Arizona Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, says, 8 "The mesquite tree (prosopis juliflora), 
known in some localities as the algaroba, honey locust, or 
honey pod is found, 9 roughly speaking, from the Colorado 
and Brazos Rivers in Texas, on the east, to the western edge 
of the Colorado desert in California on the west, and from 
the northern boundaries of Arizona and New Mexico south- 
ward as far as Chile and the Argentine Republic." 

The plant endures in all kinds of soil except that which is 
wet, resists great drought by means of small water consump- 
tion and a root system of great depth. Roots fifty and even 
eighty feet long have been credibly reported." 

8 Bulletin 13, Arizona Station. 

' The American Naturalist, Vol. XVIII, May 1884, "The Mesquite," by 
Dr. V. Havard, U. S. Army: "It flourishes in the southwestern territory 
of the United States, especially in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, being 
by far the most common tree or shrub of the immense desert tracts drained 
by the Rio Grande, Gila, and Lower Colorado." 

10 University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment Station, Tucson, Ari- 
zona, letter, October 22, 1913, from Robert H. Forbes, Director. 

"Although mesquite grows abundantly in regions of the lowest rain- 
fall, it is found for the most part in the washes, where occasional flood 
waters undoubtedly penetrate to considerable depths and thus afford a 
water supply far in excess of that which would be available on elevations. 
Standing on a mountainside and looking off across the country, one can 
easily trace the drainage by the long lines of dusty green mesquite which 
thus occupy the drainage lines. 

"The mesquite, as well as some other desert plants that I have observed, 
has two distinct root systems — one spreading laterally in every direction 
from the tree and evidently availing itself of the occasional supplies of 
moisture coming from heavy penetrating rains, and the other striking 
straight down to great depths and, presumably, feeding upon deep ground 
water supplies. I once, personally, dug up a lateral root running along a 
ditch, which at rare intervals carried flood water, a distance of exactly 
fifty feet from the trunk of the tree. This root was not as large as my 



Indeed the roots are so great that at times they are very 
productive of firewood. 

It is a mistaken localism to think that the mesquites are 
purely North American. Argentina has fifteen species of mes- 
quite, while the United States has but six. (See pages 76-77.) 

Dr. Walter S. Tower, geographer, late of the University 
of Chicago, reporting on his explorations in South America, 
says, "I have ridden all day through northern Patagonia 
with a temperature of 10° F. above zero, and have walked all 
the next day through continuous forests of algaroba. I think 

little finger at its base and tapered out to a small filament at the end where 
I lost it." 

Mr. Forbes sent me the following item February 23, 1914: 

"W. M. Riggs says that in boring a well in the San Simon Valley, using 
a drop auger that brought up a core, they found fresh living roots at a 
depth of eighty feet. There were growing at that point greasewood, sage- 
brush, and scrubby mesquite. The roots must have been mesquite. There 
was an earthquake crack near by which may have facilitated the penetra- 
tion of the roots. Earthquake, 1886. Well bored, 1909." 

The American Naturalist, Vol. XVIII, May, 1884, "The Mesquite," by 
Dr. V. Havard, U. S. Army: "Sometimes in the Southwest tents are 
pitched on claims where no timber or fuel of any sort is visible. It is then 
that the frontiersman, armed with spade and ax, goes 'digging for wood.' 
He notices a low mound on whose summit he a few dead mesquite twigs; 
within it, he finds large, creeping roots, which afford an ample supply of 
excellent fuel. These roots can be pulled out in pieces fifteen or twenty 
feet long with a yoke of oxen, as practiced by the natives in the sandy 
deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, where no other fuel can be had. 

"Of the vertical roots, the taproot is often the only large and conspicu- 
ous one. It plunges down to a prodigious depth, varying with that at which 
moisture is obtainable. On the sides of the gulches one can track these 
roots down thirty or forty feet. They branch off and decrease in size if 
water is near by; otherwise they, even at that depth, retain about the same 
diameter, giving off but few important filaments. How much farther they 
sink can only be conjectured. 

"Between these heaps of shifting sand are sometimes found large, vigor- 
ous mesquite shrubs, the only aborescent vegetation there. The inference 
would be that water, although too deep for the ordinary shrubs of the 
country, is accessible to the mesquite and should be reached at a depth of 
about sixty feet, a conclusion practically verified by the digging of wells 
along the Texas-Pacific Railroad. 

"Mesquite posts, much used in fencing, are said to be indestructible 
whether under or above ground. 

"As fuel, the wood from both root and stem is unsurpassed. It is the 
most commonly used from San Antonio, Texas, to San Diego, California." 





their species would grow in our own arid wastes of the South- 
west because I found with it identical species of cactus grow- 
ing in New Mexico and Arizona." 

Dr. Tower further writes, "As I recall conditions, the alga- 
roba grows pretty generally in the dry fringe along the western 
and southern margins of the Pampas. 

"To the best of my recollection, the algaroba is common 
at least as far south as latitude 40°, and at least as far north 
as latitude 30°. 

"The trees are small; as I recall them, few were more than 
ten or twelve feet high, rather bushy, and pretty well pro- 
tected with long sharp thorns. In the more northerly sections 
of its distribution, I think the size of the trees was rather 
larger than toward the south, where the growth was more in 
the nature of scrub than of what one commonly thinks of as 
real trees." n 

11 Speaking of the Pampas of northern Patagonia, Baily Willis says, 
Northern Patagonia, p. 109: "The shrubs which are present in the flora 
throughout the entire range of the bushes are the algorrobo or algorrobilla 
(prosopis juliflora) and the jarilla (larrea divaricata). The algorrobilla 
is an acacia, a bush of strong growth, characterized by the delicate foliage, 
strong brown thorns, and large beanpods of the family. Sheep and cattle 
eat the beans when ripe, and the large roots are dug for firewood." 

This was in an area (latitude 40° 45' S. and longitude 65° W. and on to 
westward) entirely too dry for agriculture without irrigation and having 
had recently observed temperatures of 106° F. and 12° F. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Tracy Lay, American Consul at Buenos 
Aires, I have received communication from the Argentinian Minister of 
Agriculture quoting from the book entitled Contribution al Conocimiento 
de los Arboles de la Argentina (Contribution to the Knowledge of Trees 
in Argentina) by Miguel Lillo, to the effect that Argentina has eleven spe- 
cies of prosopis, that one of these, the juliflora, exists in eleven provinces, 
including Buenos Ayres and Corrientes on the extreme east and all the 
western arid provinces from Patagonia in the south to Salta and Tucuman 
in the north; in fact, almost the whole of that vast country. The Minister 
further reports that the beans are very valuable for live stock, especially 
horses and mules, in place of green grass in times of drought. 

The Minister of Agriculture further reports that one species, prosopis 
alba, called in translation the white carob, analyzes twenty-five per cent, 
sugar, sixteen per cent, starch, and ten per cent, protein. This species was 
reported growing in nine provinces. 

According to the Argentinian Minister of Agriculture the 
mesquites grow in nearly all parts of Argentina. 

Dr. Clarence F. Jones of Clark University reports bean- 
bearing mesquites in the dry parts of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, 
and Paraguay. 

Some of these beans were valuable and used for tannin and 
others for dye stuffs. 



This group of bean-bearers holds out interesting possibilities 
of increased productivity for the arid lands of our Southwest, 
of Mexico, and of similar lands in each of the other five con- 

The possibility of further and useful adaptation to par- 
ticular places and needs lies pregnantly in the statement that 
the tropically tender keawe of Hawaii is of the same species 

_ "The algaroba or mesquite tree (prosopis juliflora) is found in a 
number of places in South America: 

" 1 . In scattered patches in the dry coast of northern Colombia. 

"2. In the dry section of western Ecuador. 

"3. Along stream courses on the western flank of the Andes in Peru 
and Chile. 

"4. In the eastern lowlands and savannas of Bolivia. 

"5. In the Chaco of northern Argentina and Paraguay. A closely re- 
lated tree, hymenaea courbaril — known also as algaroba — is found near 
northern Uruguay." 

"It bears numerous straight or sickle-shaped pods about six inches long. 
... In Ecuador, the Chaco, and the savannas of Bolivia it is prized as an 
article of food, being prepared in a number of ways. The leaves and tender 
shoots are grazed by cattle." 

"The pods, which are very saccharine, are greedily eaten by cattle. In the 
coastal desert of Peru both pods and beans may be gathered and fed to 
cattle, especially in years of scant pasturage. In northern Colombia, in 
Ecuador, and in Peru the beans, being rich in tannin (sometimes contain- 
ing 45 per cent.), are gathered and made into tanning materials for domes- 
tic use; also there is quite a trade developing in the beans for the manu- 
facture of tannin." 

"Algaroba beans are also used in the manufacture of dye stuffs and 
coloring materials." (Extracts from letter, Clarence F. Jones, Clark Uni- 
versity, Worcester, Massachusetts, February 6, 1928.) - 





(prosopis juliflora) as many frost-resistant strains that are 
scattered from Texas to Patagonia. 13 

According to F. V. Coville, Botanist, U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, letter, August 17, 1927: 

"The range of each of the American species of mesquite 
and screw bean covers a wide area in our Southwest. All 

" A Chemical and Structural Study of Mesquite, Carob, and Honey Lo- 
cust Beans, by G. P. Walton, Assistant Chemist, Cattle Food and Grain 
Investigation Laboratory, Bureau of Chemistry, U. S. Department of Agri- 
culture, Department Bulletin No. 1194. 

"Mesquite grows over a wide range of territory and will flourish where 
the more valuable carob can not exist. It is common in Hawaii, where it 
was introduced in 1828 and is known as the algaroba or keawe bean [E. C. 
Shorey, in The Composition of Some Hawaiian Feeding Stuffs, Hawaii 
Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 13, published in 1906, says on 
pp. 12-13 that algeroba is the usual Hawaiian way of spelling and that this 
plant is not the true algaroba], and in Jamaica, where it has been called 
'cashaw.' [Abrahams, C. R., 'Cashaw Poisoning,' in Journal of Jamaica 
Agricultural Society, 1897, Vol. I, pp. 319-21.] It is found also from the 
southern boundary of Utah and Colorado to Chile, and has been introduced 
into India and South Africa, where it is attracting favorable attention. 
[Brown, W. R., 'The Mesquite (Prosopis Juliflora), a Famine Fodder for 
the Karroo.' In Journal of the Department of Agriculture (Union of South 
Africa, 1923), Vol. VI, pp. 62-67.]" 

According to C. V. Piper (letter, May, 1923) : "The mesquites belong 
to the botanical genus prosopis, in which there are about 30 valid species, 
although many more than this have been proposed. One species occurs in 
Persia and India, one in the eastern Mediterranean region, two in Africa, 
and the rest in America. Argentina is richest in species, 15 occurring in 
that country. In one group of species, the pods are coiled and hence called 
screw beans. According to some botanists these constitute a distinct genus, 
strombocarpa. Two species of screw beans occur in the United States and 
four in Argentina. ... P. juliflora is apparently the same as the older 
p. chilensis, which ranges from Patagonia to Texas. The species so abun- 
dantly introduced into the Hawaiian Islands is p. chilensis and is there 
known as kiawe or algaroba. The common species in the United States 
(p. glandulosa torr.) occurs from southern California to Texas and Okla- 
homa. In modern times it has spread greatly and now occupies extensive 
areas formerly prairie. This is probably due to the seeds being carried by 
horses and cattle and not being injured in passing through the intestinal 

14 Strombocarpa pubescens (Benth.) A. Gray, ranges from western Texas 

to California and northern Mexico. 
Strombocarpa cinerascens A. Gray, ranges from southwestern Texas to 

Nuevo Leon, Mexico. 
Prosopis glandulosa torr. 

Prosopis juliflora glandulosa (torr.) Cockerell. The range of this 

species is given as "Louisiana to southern California" and Mexico. 

the species are tropical or sub-tropical. Within our borders, 
they grow in the creosote -bush belt of our southwestern desert 
region. Standley, in The Shrubs and Trees oj Mexico, refers 
all the species of strombocarpa to the genus prosopis." 


Mr. J. J. Thornber, Botanist, Arizona Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, Tucson, Arizona, says he has seen the beans 
so abundant under the tree "as to cover the ground every- 
where for a considerable area as much as one inch or two 
inches in depth," and that a good-sized tree yields anywhere 
from fifty to one hundred pounds of beans. A space ten feet 
square would hold thirteen bushels or more than two hundred 
and fifty pounds if the beans were two inches deep. 

Mr. Robert C. Forbes, Director of this same station, wrote 
a bulletin (No. 13) urging the use of mesquite as a crop be- 
cause of the two qualities of good food and value of produc- 
tivity of the tree. 10 

Prosopis velutina (Wooten.) 
Prosopis juliflora velutina (Wooten) Sarg. Ranges from Arizona to 
Lower California and Michoacan, Mexico. 
Prosopis palmeri S. Wats. Lower California. 

Prosopis juliflora (Swartz) DC. West Indies and Central America, in- 
cluding Mexico. 
5 "I will state that the yield of the mesquite tree ranges anywhere from 
fifty to one hundred pounds per tree of good size. This is in deep rich 
soil of our valleys with, of course, the rainfall and no irrigation. These 
trees are anywhere from twelve to eighteen inches in diameter and per- 
haps fifty years old. Some of them stand as tall as forty feet. They are 
not a tall-growing tree, but they have very wide-spreading branches so 
that a single tree may cover a diameter of fifty to seventy feet. Smaller 
trees will bear less in proportion. Such trees commonly grow anywhere 
from forty to one hundred feet apart over the ground under native condi- 
tions, and I have seen the crop of mesquite beans so abundant under them 
as to cover the ground everywhere over considerable area as much as one 
or two inches in depth." (Letter from Mr. J. J. Thornber, Arizona Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, October 16, 1913.) 

16 "The mesquite tree in the South is very regularly a bearer and with- 
out having any definite information we are of the opinion that the total 
tonnage from an acre of mesquite trees would be quite large." (Letter from 
Bradford Knapp, Special Agent in charge, U. S. Department of Agricul- 
ture, Bureau of Plant Industry, Washington, D. C, May 23, 1913.) 



"It is difficult to state the yield, more than that it is usually 
very abundant, often amounting to from one to several bushels 
on a small tree. It should also be noticed in this connection 
that the beans are quite bulky. One bushel weighs about 
twenty-one pounds." 

Analyses show the high content of sugar and other nutri- 
ents and explain why the animals are so fond of the beans. 

Mr. G. P. Walton of the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
says, "After a favorable season the quantities of mesquite 
beans available over large areas of southwestern United States 
are limited only by the facilities for gathering the ripe fruit. 
Wilson 18 states that in southern New Mexico it is not un- 
common to see a medium-sized bush, with a spread of not 
more than fourteen to eighteen feet, bearing from one to one 
and one -half bushels of beans. Although the process of gather- 
ing the fruit is tedious, during the 1917 season the beans could 
be secured for from twenty to thirty cents per one hundred 
pounds. A native worker at the New Mexico Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station gathered about one hundred and seventy- 
five pounds of dried beans in a day." Since the pods weigh 
but twenty-one pounds to the bushel" however, the man gath- 
ered only eight and one-third bushels, not a very strenuous 
day's work. In a northwestern province of India, a good tree 
may yield more than two hundred pounds of ripe fruit a year. 21 

17 See p. 302. 

"The air-dry fruit, entire, was found to contain from 17.53 to 17.67 per 
cent, of cane sugar, all of which was in the pods. Further examination of 
another sample of pods showed them to contain 2.4 per cent, of grape 
sugar, and 21.5 per cent, of cane sugar, no starch or tannic acid being 
present." (Arizona Bulletin, No. 13, R. H. Forbes.) 

18 C. P. Wilson, "Value of Mesquite Beans for Pig Feeding," in New 
Mexico Farm Courier, 1917, Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 7-8. 

" "The Mesquite Bean As a War Crop," in New Mexico Farm Courier 
(1917), Vol. 5, No. 9, pp. 9-10. 

20 Foster, L., "Feeding Value of Mesquite Beans," in New Mexico Farm 
Courier (1916), Vol. 4, No. 9, pp. 4-5. 

2 Brown, W. R., "The Mesquite (Prosopis Juliflora) a Famine Fodder 
for the Karroo," in Journal of the Department Agriculture (Union of 
South Africa) (1923), Vol. 6, pp. 62-67. 



"In 1917 mesquite beans were gathered and shipped by the 
carload in Texas. 

"The yield of fruit, of course, varies with the type and size 
of the tree or bush. It has been stated that one acre of land 
well covered with the trees may produce one hundred bushels 
of fruit per year. 23 24 Two crops a year have been produced in 
Arizona 3 and in Texas, the early crop ripening during the 
first half of July and the second during the first half of Sep- 

As to the value of the beans, Professor Robert C. Forbes 
(Bulletin 13, Arizona Experiment Station) says that accord- 
ing to analyses the entire beans, weight for weight, compare 
favorably with alfalfa hay, are of slightly less value than 
wheat bran, and contain more protein, but less fat and carbo- 
hydrate, than shelled corn. It must be remembered, however, 
that these ingredients are partly contained in the hard kernels. 



Mesquite has a kind of first cousin in the screw bean 
(strombocarpa) or tornillo, which is so greatly like it in both 

," "The Mesquite Bean as a War Crop," in New Mexico Farm Courier 
(1917), Vol. S, No. 9, pp. 9-10. 

" 3 Bentley, H. L., "A Report Upon the Grasses and Forage Plants of 
Central Texas." U. S. Department of Agriculture, Division Agrostology 
Bulletin 10 (1898), p. 36. 

"' Smith, Tared G., "Fodder and Forage Plants (exclusive of the 
grasses)." U. S. Department of Agriculture, Division Agrostology Bulletin 
2, rev. (1900), pp. 31, 56. 

"'Thornber, J. J., "The Grazing Ranges of Arizona." Arizona Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station Bulletin 65 (1910), pp. 270-271, 297. 

' A "The tornillo grows extensively at lower levels in the southern part 
of New Mexico on the flood plains, as a rule. The trees grow from fifteen 
to twenty feet high. Posts from the larger trees are very durable. The 
stems and roots make excellent fire wood. The crop of "screw beans" is 
usually very prolific, though badly infested with bruchids. These beans 
have a large amount of sugar in the substance surrounding the seeds, and 
are, for this reason, eagerly eaten by stock. I have no particular data on 
the productivity, except that last fall one tree fifteen feet high on the 
campus here yielded one bushel and one-half of the beans measured." 
(D. E. Merrill, Biologist, Agricultural Experiment Station, New Mexico 
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, State College, New Mexico, 
letter, September 8, 1916.) 




botanical and economic aspects that they commonly are and 
should be classed together. 27 

Perhaps adequate testing will show that both mesquite and 
screw bean have their places in a reasonably scientific agricul- 
ture for the semi-arid lands. 


This combination of the above-mentioned qualities, pro- 
ductivity of trees, ability to stand drought and frost, and 
good analysis of beans and their appetizing quality, certainly 
makes reasonable the statements of the scientists and ranch- 
men of the southwestern plateaus that the mesquites are 
worthy of experimentation and gives reason for Mr. Forbes' 
belief that gathering beans on a commercial scale "seems to 
be practicable in some parts of the country." In considering 
all these statements it should be remembered these are wild 
plants, quite unimproved either by propagation of the best 
strains or by breeding. 

27 See table of analyses, page 302. 

28 "In the western and southwestern sections of the state the mesquite 
bean affords during some years a large proportion of the feed supply of 
the horses and cattle of those sections. As far as I am aware no investi- 
gations have been made in regard to the actual feeding values of these 
products. Neither has anything been done towards the development of 
more productive strains of trees. It seems to me that the field offers con- 
siderable opportunity for investigation." (Letter from John C. Burns, Pro- 
fessor of Animal Husbandry, Department of Animal Husbandry, Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College of Texas, College Station, Texas, June 6, 


Several generations of Caucasian Americans have called 
the sugar maple the "sugar tree." It had been done before 
by countless generations of American Indians. Rare indeed is 
the person who will not say that maple syrup and maple sugar 
are delicious. 

The sugar maple is a fine tree. Its spring sap has from 3 to 6 
per cent, of sugar. It grows over a wide area of cold, rough, 
upland country with a poor agricultural surface and in some 
cases a poorer agricultural climate. Possibly plant breeding 
could do with the maple wonders similar to those it has 
already done with the sugar beet — namely raise its sugar 
content several fold in a century and a quarter. 

But why wait? Behold the honey locust! Look at Figs. 
34 and 36! There is a wild tree, native, hardy, prolific, and 
yielding beans more than a foot long. 

The beans from some of these unimproved and unappreci- 
ated wildlings carry 29 per cent, of sugar. This is equal to 
the best sugar beets and more than the yield of the richest 
crops of sugar cane. This, too, after man has been struggling 
with the sugar cane for centuries. 

And Mr. Secretary of Agriculture Jardine tells me that 
his department has no time for such new things as honey 
locusts, that they are busy with the bugs and bites and blights 
of crops already established. Such is the scientific side of this 

Who will apply science and horse sense to this wonderful 
bean tree, which may hold a hundred thousand gullying hills 
with its roots while its tops manufacture the world's sugar 






without the arduous toil of women and children on hands and 
knees pulling weeds from among the pesky little beets? 

Consider the history of the sugar beet, and it seems perfectly 
reasonable to picture, fifty years hence, a thousand mountain 
farm wagons hauling locust beans down to the sugar factory 
in some Carolina valley. 

This sugar factory should also sell thousands of tons of cow 
feed, rich in protein and having enough molasses left in it to 
make the cows fight for it. 


r s Q •? a ~ — 

,_ j£ i.. 


».^ i to 



-M J _ ^ 

r# v_ ■* rS 3 *H 
4J O l- C ~ 

ft .-> p S rt 




S3 _£*" a 

I* B v! |-.f 

J ^ c C 

a^-ia rt b a 


Lg| |** 

Jfi _. ■' ■ £ 

J i- i, -J i n 

W •" "+* M ^E ^ 

• .■-"= £■ E 


FIG. 39. Top. A systematic orchard of mulberries for hog pas- 
ture near Raleigh, N. C. The man stands on top of a mangum ter- 
race. — FIG. 40. Center. Hogs in a mulberry orchard planted for them 
near Fayetteville, N. C. — FIG. 41. Bottom. Characteristic burden 
of fruit produced by the wild American persimmon tree. Fruits 
nearly an inch in diameter, Augusta, Ga. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 



For a large section of the United States the mulberry is 
easily the king of tree crops when considered from the stand- 
point of this book; namely, the establishment of new crops 
which are easily and quickly grown and reasonably certain to 
produce crops for which there is a secure and steady market 
for a large and increasing output. 


The mulberry is excellent food for pigs. To harvest mul- 
berries costs nothing because the pigs gladly pick up the fruit 
themselves. Therefore, mulberries fit especially well into Amer- 
ican farm economics because labor cost is high. 

The mulberry tree is no new wildling just in from the 
woods and strange to the ways of man. It is one of the old 
cultivated plants. It has resisted centuries of abuse. It has 
been tried and found to be good and enduring. 

It can perhaps be called the potential king of tree crops for 
the Cotton Belt 1 and part of the Corn Belt. The honey locust, 
oak, and chestnut probably have greater promise, because their 
crop can be stored; but the mulberry has already arrived and 
has proved its adaptability and its worth. 

The mulberry is a tree with good varieties already estab- 
lished and waiting to be used. 

In actual production today the pecan is far ahead of the mulberry, but 
the potential market for mulberries is far ahead of that of pecans. 




(1) The trees are cheap because they are so easy of propa- 
gation. 2 

(2) The tree is very easy to transplant. 

(3) It grows rapidly. 

(4) It bears as early as any other fruiting tree now grown 
in the United States, perhaps earliest of all. 3 

(5) The fruit is nutritious and may be harvested without 

(6) The tree bears with great regularity as far north as 
the Middle Atlantic States and New England, also through 
the Cotton Belt and much of the Corn Belt, and even beyond 
it into the drier lands. 

(7) It has a long fruiting season. 

(8) It bears fruit in the shady parts of the tree as well as 
in the sunshine, and thus has unusual fruiting powers. 

(9) It has the unusual power of recovery from frost to the 
extent of making a partial crop the same season that one 
crop is destroyed. 4 

(10) The fruit has a ready and stable market since swine 
and other animals turn it into meat, a product for which 
there is no prospect of a really glutted market, such as haunts 
the growers of so many crops. 

(11) The trunk of the tree is excellent for posts, and the 
branches make fair firewood for the farm stove. It is doubtless 
worth growing in many sections for wood alone. 

(12) While attacked to some extent by caterpillars, it pros- 
pers at present in most parts of its area without spraying, and 
seems to have fewer enemies than most other valuable trees. 5 

2 In 1913 trees of everbearing varieties could be bought for $2.00 per 
hundred at Green's Nursery, Garner, North Carolina. 

3 They even bear in the nursery row. 

4 This results from the remarkable habit of putting forth secondary buds 
and producing some fruit after a frost kills the first set of buds. 

5 Unfortunately, according to a letter from the Fruitland Nursery, Au- 
gusta, Georgia (1927), the San Jose and India scale in that locality require 



(13) Growth of the mulberry for forage has gone forward 
in the United States so that for a large area the experimental 
stage for the tree is past (but not for the crop). In localities 
where the mulberry is not well established experiments are 
aided by the incomparable boons of low-cost trees, rapid 
growth, and ease of transplanting. 


Every claim that I have made for the mulberry has been 
backed up by correspondence with persons interested in mul- 
berries or with interviews that I have had. In most cases my 
information comes from the statements of people who grow 
mulberries or are closely associated with those who did. 

Mr. G. Harold Hume of the Glen Saint Mary Nurseries 
Company, Glen Saint Mary, Florida, wrote April 12, 1913, 
"All through the Southern States, mulberries are commonly 
used as feed for pigs and poultry. In North and South Caro- 
lina and Georgia nearly every pig lot is planted with these 
trees, and the mulberries form a very important addition to 
the pig's diet. 6 There is one variety, Hicks, which will give 
fruit for about sixty days, in some seasons even for longer. 

one good dormant spray per year to keep the tree in good health. This, 
however, is not a serious burden, especially as it is a winter job. 

As the mulberry tree has been cultivated for ages over a wide region, 
this comparative pest-immunity is probably more dependable than it would 
be on a tree that has just come in from the forest and has not been sub- 
jected to the crowded conditions of artificial plantings. It is also probably 
a much safer tree than some fresh importation would be. 

6 "In eastern North Carolina it is the common practice to plant orchards 
of mulberry trees for hogs to run in." (W. F. Massey, Associate Editor, 
The Progressive Farmer, Raleigh, N. C, letter, March 11, 1913.) 

"The everbearing mulberry in this country is so common as to occasion 
very little comment; in fact, they become unpopular on account of their 
profuse bearing, especially if there are not pigs and chickens enough to 
pick them up." (Letter, John S. Kerr, Texas Nursery Company, Sherman, 
Texas, November 19, 1913.) 

"The mulberry grows to perfection, fruits abundantly, and is used both 
for hogs and for poultry." (Professor C. C. Newman, Clemson College, 
South Carolina.) 






With a proper selection of varieties, this season might be ex- 

In 1927 Mr. Hume, who is an ex-professor in horticulture, 
reported that there was little change in the situation. 

I find a very general belief in the Cotton Belt that one 
"everbearing" mulberry tree is enough to support one pig (pre- 
sumably a spring pig) during the fruiting season of two 
months or more. Professor J. C. C. Price, Horticulturist, Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical College, Mississippi, says, 7 "The ever- 
bearing varieties will continue to bear from early May to late 
July, a period of nearly three months. I believe that a single 
tree would support two hogs weighing 100 pounds each and 
keep them in a thrifty condition for the time that they are pro- 
ducing fruit. They could be planted about 35 trees to the acre." 

Mr. F. A. Cochran, breeder of Berkshire swine at Derita, 
North Carolina, said, 8 "I only have a few trees, but they are 
large ones, 100 feet apart. ... I would not take $25 per tree 
for the old trees. I have three hogs to the tree. They are doing 
fine, in good flesh. ... I have not weighed any hogs that 
were fed on mulberries, but estimate that they gained one 
pound and over per day. My hogs have a feed of two small 
ears of corn twice a day." 

Mr. James C. Moore, farmer of Auburn, Alabama, writes, 
"I never weighed my pigs at the beginning and close of the 
mulberry season, but think I can safely say that a pig weigh- 
ing 100 pounds at the start would weigh 200 pounds at the 
close. . . . Three-fourths to the mulberries is safe calcula- 
tion of the gain. I have had the patch about 18 years bearing. 
I planted my trees just 32 feet apart, and now the branches 
are meeting, and I have about 40 trees. I have carried 30 
head of hogs through from May 1 to August 1 , with no food 
but the gleanings of the barn and what slops came from the 
kitchen of a small family." 

7 Letter, September 2, 1927. 

8 Letter, July 21, 1913. 

Mr. J. C. Calhoun, farmer of Ruston, Louisiana, says, "The 
variety is the 'Hicks.' I set them out 30x30 feet apart. I 
have 50 trees. They were mere switches when I set them out 
about three feet high. They began bearing the second year 
and made rapid growth. The fourth year after putting them 
out the trees would nearly touch, and they are abundant bear- 
ers — ripening from the last of April to the last of July. There 
is nothing that a hog seems to enjoy better than mulberries. I 
always feed my hogs at least once a day, but I find that it 
takes considerable less feed for them to thrive and do well 
during mulberry season." (Letter, March 7, 1913.) 

In the course of much correspondence and a long journey 
through the Cotton Belt in 1913 I met many such enthusiastic 
statements. 8 

In that east-central part of North Carolina where the mul- 
berry orchard is a very common part of farm equipment, a 
veteran of the Civil War (a captain) declared, "When I lived 

. "We have talked this matter over thoroughly here in the office and 
believe that one mulberry tree 10 years old ought to support a pig 4 to 6 
months old during the tree's fruit season. As the tree gets older, 15 to 20 
years old, if it has had good attention and has grown well, then it ought 
to support two or three pigs at the same age as mentioned above." (O. J. 
Howard, J. Van Lindley Nursery Company, Pomona, North Carolina, Au- 
gust 11, 1912.) 

"The large mulberry tree of which I spoke is in the south part of Wake 
County, North Carolina. I stopped at the place to get some water and 
spoke of the large mulberry trees and made the remark that it was wisely 
said that one tree fed one pig during fruiting season. The owner said it 
certainly would, for this tree was feeding fifteen hogs at that time and 
was probably one hundred years old. The place is near Fuquay Spring, 
North Carolina." (J. W. Green, Green Nursery Company, Garner, North 

It may properly be objected that these men are partisans, being nursery- 
men with trees to sell, but many farmers without any axes to grind are 
of the same opinion. 

Mr. R. H. Ricks, a farmer specializing in cottonseed at Rocky Mount, 
North Carolina, gives the following testimony: "I planted two hundred 
mulberry trees of the everbearing variety thirty-three years ago on what 
I regarded as waste land. They commenced having some fruit at once, but 
they did not have profitable crops until the fifth year. I have since planted 
another orchard of fifty trees. I carry fifty to sixty hogs on the fruit ten 
to thirteen weeks every year for the last twenty-seven years without other 



ovah the rivah we had a lot of mulberry trees — 300 to 400 
mammoth big ones. We had fully 200 hawgs, but we had to 
send fer the neighbors' hawgs to help out and to keep the 
mulberries from smellin'." 

Where the captain then lived he had a bunch of thirty- 
five hogs of various sizes running in mulberry and persimmon 
pasture, all of which I saw. He estimated that one-third of 
their weight, or one thousand pounds of pork, live weight, was 
due to the mulberries from eighty trees set twenty-four by 
thirty-three feet. That runs out about six hundred and twenty- 
five pounds of pork, live weight, to an acre of rather thin, 
sandy land with little care and no cultivation. A big yarn, you 
say? I'll willingly take it back just as soon as any experiment 
station makes a real test and disproves it. 

The trouble is that no station, so far as I can find out, is 
in a position to disprove it, because none of them has any 

food, and in the main bearing season the two hundred and fifty trees would 
carry twice the number of hogs. Nearly every farmer has a small orchard 
in this section, eastern Carolina. I regard the mulberry for hog food with 
much favor." 

"I wouldn't take a pretty for my mulberry orchard," said one of these 
Carolinians. "It's funny to me to see how soon a hawg kin learn that 
wind blows down the mulberries. Soon as the wind starts up, Mr. Hawg 
strikes a trot out of the woods fer the mulberry grove. Turn yer pigs into 
mulberries, and they shed off and slick up nice. It puts 'em in fine shape — 
conditions 'em like turnin' 'em in on wheat. They eats mulberries and goes 
down to the branch and cools off, and comes back and eats more — don't 
need any grain in mulberry time." 

"They begin to beah right away," one Carolina farmer declared. "Why, 
I've seen 'em beah in the nursery row, and they begin to beah some as 
soon as they get any growth at all." 

I have myself seen wild ones bearing in the Virginia woods when only 
five feet high. As to their hardiness, another Carolina mulberry grower 
testified as follows: "Yeh can't kill the things. Yeh kin plant yen mulber- 
ries jest like yeh would cane — cut it off in joints and graft from the one 
yeh want to. I moved a tree last yeah. Jest put a man cuttin' roots off- — 
and he cut 'em scandalous — and I hooked two mules to it and hauled it 
ovah heah. I didn't 'spect it would live, but it did." ("A Georgia Tree 
Farmer," J. Russell Smith, The Country Gentleman, December 4, 1915, 
pp. 1921-22.) 

10 The attempt to secure scientifically determined facts from southern 
stations brought nothing but much favorable opinion and a suggestion that 
something might have been done at Tuskegee Institute. Dr. G. W. Carver, 



facts. This is a reproach to station staffs and also a really in- 
teresting piece of human psychology. The mulberry tree war- 
rants careful testing. 


As nearly as I can learn through trusted correspondents in 
several southern states, there has been little change in the 
mulberry situation between 1913 and 1927. The neglect of 
the mulberry as a crop in the face of such evidence seems to 
require some explanation. However, this psychological and 
economic phenomenon becomes easier to understand when one 
recalls the slavish dependence of the southern farmer on the 
one crop of cotton. By tens of thousands they have resisted 
the temptations of clover and cowpeas and soy beans and 
vetch. They still buy hay for the mule. Nor have they planted 
pecan trees in their door yards. They grow no fruit, and some 
do not even have anything worth the name of garden. So the 
mulberry is after all in good company with the things they 
haven't done. Occasionally one finds a man who has tried 
mulberries and does not like them because of caterpillars, but 
in the main I have found enthusiasm among those pioneer 
farmers who were trying out the crop. 

Director of Research and Experiment Station at Tuskegee Institute, Tus- 
kegee, Alabama, wrote (November 2, 1927), "The small amount of ana- 
lytical data that I have been able to find on the mulberry shows it to be 
higher in carbohydrates than pumpkins, being fourteen per cent, carbohy- 
drates, a rather convincing evidence that it is really worth while as a 
fattening food." He also told of their own use of it in growing their 
own pork supply. 

1 ' "It is still true that in the principal cotton sections, particularly the 
black belts, anything that can really be called a garden is quite scarce. 

"You are also undoubtedly correct in saying that there are still not only 
thousands but tens of thousands of cotton farms which make practically 
no hay and depend almost entirely upon buying hay if any is used, and this 
in spite of the fact that there has been a tremendous increase in the 
acreage in alfalfa, soy bean, cowpea, and other hays in the past few years. 
You could even go further and say that thousands of such farms have no 
milch cows, practically no poultry and no hogs. 

"A real home orchard is yet a comparative scarcity in the Cotton Belt." 
(Letter from J. A. Evans, Assistant Chief, Office of Cooperative Extension 
Work, U. S. Department of Agriculture. Sent. 7, 1927.) 







As with any other little -used crop, the exact range over 
which the mulberry can eventually spread is today unknown. 
For example: Kansas seems to have some mulberry territory 
and some that is not mulberry territory. 12 But there is every 
reason to expect that breeding can extend this crop. 

There is little doubt that at least a million square miles of 
the United States, and in the most populated parts of the 
country, are now capable of producing crops of fruit from the 
everbearing strains of this remarkable tree. Fortunately two 
of the commoner varieties, the Downing and the New Ameri- 
can, originated in New York. 13 


The price stability of the mulberry should be emphasized in 
a country where so many commodities find markets that are 

12 State Forester Albert C. Dickens makes the following interesting ob- 
servations in Kansas Bulletin 165, pp. 324-26. It should be remembered that 
as a forester he naturally is dealing primarily with wood trees rather than 
fruit trees, and that therefore his fruit statements might tend to be weak 
rather than strong. 

"The success of the Russian mulberry has been quite varied. In northern 
Kansas it has been injured very frequently in severe winters. 

"In the southern counties of the state Russian mulberry seems much 
less liable to winter injury. At the fair grounds at Anthony, Kansas, the 
rate of growth has been especially good, trees set four years ago having 
attained a height of fourteen feet and a diameter of four inches. 

"The fruit is not of high quality, but is often used when other fruits 
are scarce; and as it ripens with the cherries and raspberries, it seems to 
attract many birds from the more valuable fruits, and it is frequently 
planted in the windbreaks about fruit plantations with this end in view. 
The fruiting season lasts a month or more. The need of some careful se- 
lection and breeding of this species is clearly indicated. The species is quite 
readily grown from cuttings and the better individuals may be propagated 
and the uncertainty which attends the planting of seedlings be avoided." 

13 "With chickens, ducks, birds, and pigs clamoring for the fruit, the 
everbearing mulberry is certainly a candidate for experiment in your poul- 
try yard or pig lot; but if you live north of Mason and Dixon's line, make 
some investigation as to the hardiness of varieties that are offered you." 
("A Georgia Tree Farmer," J. Russell Smith, The Country Gentleman, 
December 4, 1915, p. 1822.) 

often glutted. Sometimes peaches are not worth the picking. 
Apples and oranges occasionally rot on the ground, as do 
beans, peas, and all the truck crops. In contrast to this the 
mulberry is in the class with corn. We have not had much 
trouble in the past twenty years about a glut in the corn mar- 
ket, or in that of meat, its great derivative. A stable market is 
a fact of great importance in considering any crop. The fact 
that the mulberry has no harvesting costs and needs no special 
machinery minimizes the risk in experimenting. We need to get 
the facts on the feeding value of the mulberry from state ex- 
periment stations. However, any landowner can try it now. 
Commercial nurseries have the trees ready. 

For the actual use of the mulberry as a farm crop see Chap- 
ter XXIII. 

The farm yard, the rocky slope, the gullied hill, the sandy 
waste invite you to try this automatic crop for which there is 
a world market at a stable price, and probably a very good 
price when one considers cost of production. 


Perhaps some one thinks that I should mention the silk 
worm. That classic, domesticated insect makes the mulberry 
leaf worth its hundreds of millions of dollars yearly and thus 
renders its great service to humanity by enabling hundreds 
of thousands of hard-worked orientals to eke out a hungry 
existence. We have the climatic and soil resources for the mul- 
berry trees, but the silk crop is not for us — not in this next 
hundred years. It requires labor, human labor, lots of it, and 
in this we have no present prospect of competing with China, 
Japan, and other very populous countries. 14 

Nor is there much likelihood that in this century we shall 
put on a tariff that would drive us to such a crop. But if we 
do ever want to feed silk worms, we have the resources, be- 

See Smith, J. Russell, Industrial and Commercial Geography, Henry 
Holt and Company. 




cause the humid summer of our Corn and Cotton Belts keeps 
the trees growing and producing leaves. 

The mulberry has another great use among the Asiatics. It 
is a food of value for a dense population pressing upon re- 
sources more heavily than we do. This fruit has long been an 
important food in many parts of Western Asia. 

"Dried white mulberries, practically, but not quite, seedless 
and extremely palatable, form almost the exclusive food of 
hundreds of thousands of Afghans for many months of the 
year. This use of dried mulberries suggests a new tree food 
crop. 15 Analysis of these dried mulberries (page 93) shows 
them to have about the food value of dried figs, and the fig 
is one of the great nutritive fruits. (See table, page 303.) 

Ellsworth Huntington of Yale, geographer and explorer, 
says that in Syria the troubles of the beggar and the dog are 
over for a time when mulberries are ripe, for both of these 
mendicants move under the mulberry tree and pick up their 
living. "Not only do the people eat large quantities of the 
fruit, but they also dry it and make a flour out of which a 
sort of sweetmeat is made." 

But I am not urging diet reform for people — only for pigs. 
They are much more amenable to reason, much more easily 
pressed by necessity. But, nevertheless, this Afghan dried mul- 
berry ' 7 seems to be a remarkable food according to the ex- 

15 This particular variety, if needed in America, should be expected to 
thrive in the irrigated lands of our West and Southwest where dry sum- 
mers and frosty winters somewhat like those of Afghanistan are found. 

16 Personal letter. 

1 ' "The dried mulberries form the principal food of the poor people of 
the mountain districts or 'Koistan.' In the valleys of Koistan and around 
Kabul there are extensive orchards of this mulberry, all irrigated, and the 
yield seems to be heavy. There is a howl if you have cut down a mulberry 
tree. When the mulberries are ripe, they sweep under the trees and let the 
fruit fall down and dry them just as they do the plums in California. For 
eight months the people live entirely on these mulberries. They grind them 
and make a flour and mix it with ground almonds. The men come month 
after month with their shirts filled with them. They can carry in their 
shirt enough of these dried mulberries for five days' rations. These men are 


plorer's record of its use in that country, where it is more im- 
portant than bread is to the people of the United States. 

commandeered and they bring their food with them. They get no other 
food whatever, mulberries and water are the whole diet. They sit down 
on the rocks and lunch and dine on nothing but these dried mulberries 
(Jewett). Here is the analysis of the dried mulberry, thirteen ounces in 
pulp, from Afghanistan made by F. T. Anderson of this Bureau." (Courtesy 
of Mr. Peter Bissett.) 

Total solids 94.81 

Ash 2.75% 

Alkalinity of ash as K 2 C0 3 414% 

Ether extract. 1.60% 

Protein (N x 6.25) 2.59% 

Acid as malic 30 

Sucrose 1.20% 

Invert sugar. 70.01% 

Starch Absent 

Crude fiber. 2.65% 

(From records of Division of Seed and Plant Introduction, United States 
Department of Agriculture. Copy of Inventory Card. 40215 [F. H. B. 
No. 3445] Morus alba. Mulberry. From Afghanistan. Presented by his 
Majesty Habibulah Khan, Amir of Afghanistan, Kabul, through Mr. A. C. 
Jewett. Received February 23, 1915. See Plant Immigrants, 1916, Bureau 
Plant Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1916.) 




One of the remarkable things about the human mind is its 
power of resistance to new ideas. By way of illustration con- 
sider the present status of the persimmon in American agricul- 
ture. The persimmon has been praised, and its bright future 
has been predicted by the earliest explorers 1 and the latest 
horticulturists." Captain John Smith, first explorer of Virginia, 
declared that the persimmon was as delicious as an "apricock." 

Persons interested in the persimmon as human food should 
know that the well-known puckering astringency can some- 
times be removed by simple processes. 

Ten generations of Americans have spent some thrilling au- 
tumn nights pulling fat opossums out of the persimmon trees, 
where they so love to feed. Every animal on the American 

1 "Plumbs there be of three sorts. The red and white are like our hedge 
plumbs; but the other which they call Putchamins, grow as high as a 
Palmeta; the fruit is like a medlar; it is first green, then yellow, and red 
when it is ripe; if it be not ripe it will draw a man's mouth awrie with 
much torment; but when it is ripe it is as delicious as an apricock." (The 
Industrialist, Manhattan, Kansas, March 4, 1904, Vol. XXX, No. 20, "Per- 

" "I am convinced that the persimmon is destined to be one of the most 
important fruits grown in the United States." (Walter T. Swingle, Physi- 
ologist in charge, United States Department of Agriculture, letter, August 
25, I927-) 

"The persimmon is gradually being recognized as an important food 
for hogs." (C. C. Newman, Horticulturist, Clemson College, South Caro- 
lina, letter, May 27, 1913.) 

8 See U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Chemistry, Bulletin 141 
and Bulletin 155. 


Courtesy John H. Tarbell 

FIG. 42. These people do not go to the movies for a thrill. They go 
'possum hunting, instead. One of the surest ways to find Br'er 'Possum 
south of the Mason and Dixon line is to look up a persimmon tree at night. 
Even a dark night will show his profile against the sky. This weakness of 
the opossum for the nutritious fruit of the persimmon simplifies the harvest 
of the opossum crop and furnishes to the Afro-Americans millions of 
greasy meals. 

Courtesy U. S. Deft Agr. 

FIG. 43. Life-size picture of one of the medium Chinese persimmons. Fruits 
nearly twice this size are common. In many parts of China th?y are to be had fresh 
as late as March. I have eaten them in Korea early in October. I want one now. 




farm eats persimmons greedily. Millions of our people eat 
them occasionally with relish. Nevertheless, the persimmon 
has not become an important crop in America. 

It grows on a million square miles of the southeastern part 
of our country. It bears fruit profusely, 5 often as much as the 
tree can physically support, and many trees bear with great 
regularity. Yet the persimmon as a crop in American agricul- 
ture has not arrived despite its two great chances, one as a 
forage crop and one as human food. 


Our failure to appreciate the persimmon becomes the more 
conspicuous because persimmons have been a major fruit crop 
and a standard food in the Orient for many centuries. I am 
one of many thousands of American erstwhile travelers who 
hunger for the persimmons of East Asia. How I would like to 
chew the firm flesh of the persimmons such as I had in Korea, 
and still more do I crave the soft, luscious golden saucer-full 
such as I ate week after week through the autumn in Peking. 

The Yearbook of the United States Department of Agri- 
culture 6 quotes plant explorer Meyer, who had spent years 
in China, "The fruit of this particular variety (now called in 
America the tamopan) has a bright orange-red color, grows 
to a large size, measuring three to five inches in diameter, and 
sometimes weighs more than a pound. It is perfectly seedless, 
is not astringent, and can be eaten even when green and hard. 
It stands shipping remarkably well." 

4 "Throughout the region where persimmons are found in abundance the 
fruit is considered as being 'good for dogs, hogs, and 'possums.' Occasion- 
ally a family is mentioned as having lived for several months upon the 
fruit from a single large tree." (United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, Farmers' Bulletin 685. The Native Persimmon, by W. F. Fletcher.) 

5 "Certain types of persimmons and mulberries in this section have pro- 
duced tremendous yields." (Professor C. D. Matthews, Department of 
Horticulture, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineer- 
ing, Raleigh, North Carolina, letter, September 21, 1927.) 

6 1910, p. 435. 




The persimmon is a fruit of great climatic range. It is the 
major autumn fruit of both North and South China. I have 
seen the rich orchards bending down with the big fruits in 
the shadow of the mountain range north of Peking that bears 
the Great Wall, northern boundary of China. Peking has the 
latitude of Philadelphia and the climate of Omaha (almost 
precisely), save possibly some spring changes from hot to 
cold. I have also seen the Chinese persimmon trees growing 
abundantly and rendering important food service in the hills 
of Fukien back of Foochow in the latitude of Palm Beach, 

In certain localities of China the valleys 7 are entirely given 
over to the cultivation of persimmon. "Hundreds of varieties 
exist there, and the trade in dried as well as fresh persimmons 
compares in importance with our trade in peaches." 

The fruit is eaten raw, kept through most of the winter in 
a fresh condition. It is also extensively used over wide areas 
dried as we use figs and prunes. 

7 Bureau of Plant Industry Bulletin No. 4, Agricultural Exploration in 
the Fruit and Nut Orchards of China. (Frank L. Meyer, Agricultural Ex- 
plorer, March, 1911 and Yearbook United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, 1915, pp. 212-14.) 

8 Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture, 1915, pp. 212-14. "In cer- 
tain sections of the provinces of Shantung, Shansi, Honan, Shensi, and 
Kansu one finds that strains of persimmons are being grown for drying 
purposes only. These strains are quite different — not as juicy as those 
which have been so far cultivated in this country. 

"A dried persimmon in looks and taste resembles a dried fig, with the 
exception that it is devoid of small seeds and is coated with a heavy layer 
of fine grape sugar. 

"Dried persimmons of different varieties differ both in taste and in 
appearance. This difference is not due to the variety alone, but to the 
greater or less care employed in their preparation. The coarser sorts, upon 
the preparation of which little care has been bestowed, taste very much 
like cooked pumpkin, but those of finer quality are as fine as dried figs, 
being even juicier and more palatable because of the absence of objection- 
able small seeds. 

"I noticed that the Chinese used a stock which was entirely different 
from the American persimmon and also was not merely a seedling stock. 

"At last, in a valley north of Peking, near the Nanku Pass, I was shown 
wild trees of this stock. I recognized it at once as a species of persimmon 
(diospyros lotus) which is also found in northern India, Persia, the 




It would appear to be a simple process to establish the per- 
simmon in America as a commercial orchard industry sending 
its products to city markets for human consumption in large 
quantities. It bears close analogy to the peach industry — 
the transfer across the ocean of the improved strains of a pro- 
ductive species. There are already available and growing here 
and there in the United States a few of the hundreds of varie- 
ties of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean persimmons 9 which 
have resulted from centuries of plant improvement by the pa- 
tient orientals. As the peach came across the eastern ocean to 
be a staple food, so might the persimmon come across the 
western ocean. At present it is merely a food novelty in a few 
of the larger city markets. 10 

Crimea and the Caucasus. In the last-mentioned country it is known by 
the Turkish name of 'ghoorma.' 

"This ghoorma when found in its native haunts seems to be able to with- 
stand drought and neglect to a remarkable degree, and it is for that rea- 
son, no doubt, that the Chinese have selected it as a stock. It has already 
proved to be better adapted to our American semi-arid Southwest than our 
native persimmon (diospyros virginiana), which has been the only one 
heretofore used. These varieties for drying purposes budded upon the 
ghoorma as a stock will probably be very well adapted to large areas of 
land in the Southwest. Americans heretofore have never realized what an 
important food product the oriental persimmon is in its native country." 
I wish to call attention to the wide area over which this fruit grows. 
If it is the same wild persimmon that I ate at the same place, Nanku (Nan- 
kow) Pass, its fruit, less than an inch in diameter, is delicious, and some 
trees are growing in Pennsylvania from seed of my importation. 

9 It is an interesting contrast to see near the Ming tombs north of 
Peking native wild persimmons three-fourths of an inch in diameter stand- 
ing near orchards with fruit four inches in diameter. 

The trees of a number of varieties of oriental persimmon are on sale 
at Glen Saint Mary Nurseries (10 varieties) at Glen Saint Mary, Florida, 
and elsewhere. Florida and California send small shipments to market. 
Some of the fruit is as large as large peaches, but the demand is so light 
that they cannot yet move in full carloads. Therefore, they sell at exotic 
prices — fifteen to thirty cents each. They must move in carload lots be- 
fore they can be sold at prices within the reach of large numbers of 
people. Thus the industry is in a kind of impasse. I am importing with 
much enthusiasm the hardiest varieties that I could find near Peking and 
Taiynan Fu in China. I want them to eat, but that does not start an in- 
dustry, not quite. 



In addition to all this oriental success the excellence of the 
native persimmon is widely recognized, and in the year 1915 
our Department of Agriculture published a bulletin. 11 

After all, when the persimmon, native or oriental, comes to 
the American market for human food, it finds two great draw- 
backs; first the American stomach is already full, and the 
markets are overloaded with our old familiar fruits. Introduc- 
ing a new food is usually a process of slow and expensive edu- 
cation. Who is going to pay for the introduction of the per- 
simmon as human food? If a corporation like the United Fruit 
Company, which is back of bananas and has most of them to 
sell, could handle the persimmon, it would have a good chance. 
As it is the whole thing stands awaiting an educational or mar- 
keting program; 12 or perhaps it would be better to say the 
development of a need for more food. 

" Farmers' Bulletin No. 68s tells about thirteen named varieties of 
native persimmons and gives fourteen recipes for the use of persimmons 
as food, including recipes for bread and fudge. 

12 "The latest statistics show a total acreage in this state (California) 
of 2,274 acres, of which only 582 are classed as bearing. The present pro- 
duction is approximately 50 cars. 

"Persimmons have been grown in this State for many years but it was 
not until four or five years ago that the industry began to expand. It now 
looks like it might grow rather rapidly during the next decade. Thus far 
most of the fruit has been consumed locally, Los Angeles being by far 
the greatest persimmon-consuming center in the country. Some shipments 
have been made to the eastern markets for years, mainly Chicago, New 
York, and Boston, but so far as I know the first car-lot shipments were 
made this past season by a recently organized cooperative marketing agency 
with headquarters in Santa Ana, Orange County. I am told that 30 years 
ago or more several carloads of persimmons were shipped from Santa 
Barbara but the price received was such as to discourage any further ship- 

"The cost of production of persimmons is much lower than in the case 
of the citrus fruits and eventually the fruit will undoubtedly sell for much 
lower prices than have been obtained up to the present. I am quite cer- 
tain that persimmon growers can make good money at prices of two or 
three cents per pound for the best grades. (Letter, Jan. 4, 1928, Robert 
W. Hodgson, Associate Professor of Sub-tropical Horticulture, University 
of California.) 




Meanwhile the opportunity, the real opening, and the great 
need for the persimmon is for forage. Here and there a negro 
mammy sits over a few native persimmons in some town or 
city market, and a few men in the Middle West have grown 
and sold a few bushels of named varieties of natives, but 
forage — pig feed — is the big outlet for the native American 
persimmon. 13 Let the pigs pick up persimmons as they do mul- 

The persimmon tree has magnificent natural qualities of 
great aid as a crop-maker. 

(1) Its extreme catholicity as to soil. It thrives in the 
white sand of the coastal plain, in the clay of the Piedmont 
hills and the Blue Ridge, in the muck of the Mississippi al- 
luvium, and on the cherty 14 hills of the Ozarks. 

(2) Another soil aspect needs to be emphasized — the abil- 
ity of the American persimmon to grow in poor soil. I have 

11 Letter from A. D. McNari, Agriculturist, Box 316, Little Rock, 
Arkansas, March 24, 1913, says: 

"In this connection I will state that Mr. S. A. Jackson, of Monticello, 
Arkansas, has some very poor land on which persimmon trees are grow- 
ing and which he thinks furnish more hog feed than if the same land 
were planted to cultivated crops. These are wild persimmons, but there 
is a great difference among the trees in the time of ripening the fruit. 
Some are ready for hogs to eat in September, while others are fit only 
after frost or as late as November." 

Letter from University of Tennessee Experiment Station, Department of 
Horticulture and Forestry, Knoxville, Tennessee, May 26, 1913, says: 

"Everybody in Tennessee considers the persimmon a good pig feed, but 
nobody so far as I know has attempted to grow persimmons specifically 
for this purpose, nor has any attempt been made in the improvement of 
fruits of forest trees as a forage for domestic animals." (Charles A. Keffer, 
Acting Director.) 

Letter from Joseph H. Kastle, Director of Kentucky Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station, State University, Lexington, Kentucky, September 27, 
1913, says: 

"P.S. I have also heard it stated many times that hogs fatten rapidly 
on persimmons." 

1 This chert is a covering of flints which remain when certain limestones 
dissolve and pass away. In some cases it covers the Ozark hills for several 
inches in depth, making tillage almost impossible but permitting full growth 
for forest or crop trees. 


seen them grow and produce fruit in the raw subsoil clay of 
Carolina roadsides and in the bald places in the hilly cotton 
fields where all the top soil had been washed away and there 
was neither crop nor weeds — save the persimmon, which is one 
of the great weeds of the South. 

(3) The persimmon is remarkable in the length of its fruit- 
ing season. With the persimmon nature unaided has rivaled 
the careful results of man with the peach and apple, for the 
wild persimmons ripen often in the same locality continuously 
from August or September until February, 15 dropping their 
fruit where animals can go and pick it up through this long 
season of automatic feeding. In this respect it is ahead of the 
mulberry. Furthermore, it should be pointed out at once that 
this long season combines the added virtue, the great virtue, 
of (4) automatic storage. It is true that nearly half of the 
season of persimmon-dropping occurs after frost has stopped 
all growth, and farm beasts are usually eating food stored in 
barns. Truly these are two great virtues for a crop tree. 

(5) The fruit of the persimmon is very nutritious. It is 
said to be the most nutritious fruit (analysis, page 303) grown 
in the eastern United States. 

It is too much to expect the persimmon tree to have the 
complete and amazing collection of virtues cited for the mul- 
berry. Compared to the mulberry the persimmon (a deep 
rooter) is not easy to transplant. Therefore it is produced in 
the nursery at greater expense. It does not grow so rapidly as 
the mulberry. It does not even grow quite so rapidly as the 
apple. 16 

Dr. John E. Cannaday of Charleston, West Virginia, reports one tree 
in his neighborhood (letter, September 27, 1924) that ripened its fruit in 

"A persimmon, stem-grafted in a two-year-old and vigorous stock, 

may make anywhere from one to four feet the first and second years, but 

later the new growth will be shorter, especially in years of heavy fruiting. 

" 'Early Golden' should have a 'gallon to the tree' in three or four years 

after planting. 'Kawakami' always bears very sparingly, yet it is a very vig- 

Courtesy F. N. Meyer, U. S. Dept. Agr. 

FIG. 44. Top. Grove of persimmon trees, Diostyros Kaki grafted on 
Diospyros Lotus. These are dry-meated varieties grown for drying, near 
Sian Fu, Shensi Province, China. Note the common Chinese method of 
growing them along the edges of fields. — FIG. 45. Bottom. Long strings of 
peeled persimmons hanging from a pole set up on the mud roof of a house 
at Siku Kansu near Tibetan border of West China. This fruit is dried 
prune and dried fig for the Chinese. Generally relished by foreigners. 

.fiuKa h Russell Smith 

FIG 46 Cross roads in North Carolina pasture At the right is a 
poor mulberry tree, one of many connected by paths worn in July as 
the pigs made their mulberry-gathering rounds. Other paths develop in 
September as the pigs pass from persimmon tree to persimmon tree 
in the same enclosure. Pigs in background gathering persimmons. 



However, it is a much more common tree in American than 
the mulberry, growing wild in much greater abundance. This 
is partly due to the fact that the leaves are shunned by most 
pasturing animals, including the sheep and goat. I have proved 
this in my own experience. This is a point of great importance 
because seeds can be planted in pasture fields, pasturing can 
continue without interruption, and the trees can be grafted to 
better varieties when they reach a suitable size. 

(6) Native persimmons in my native locality, northern Vir- 
ginia, bloom late in June, when wheat is ripe. This almost sure 
escape from frost injury seems to be a great advantage. 


While making a journey of investigation through the South, 
I found that Dr. Lamartine Hardman of Commerce, Georgia, 
now governor of that state and owner of sixty farms, is one 
of the most enthusiastic tree farmers and persimmon growers 
anywhere to be found. 

"Cows keep the persimmons picked up clean," he said. 

orous grower." (Letter from Benjamin Buckman, Farmingdale, Illinois, 
Sept. 12, 1916.) 

"I budded about forty to fifty trees in four- foot rows — only .a small 
part of an acre — three years ago last March. They are now bending with 
their third crop. 

"I happened to bring in a leaf this morning of Shingler 10 x 5% inches 
on a thrifty graft." (Letter from F. T. Ramsey, The Austin Nursery, Aus- 
tin, Texas, July 19, 1913.) 

"The seedling persimmons we have grown here have in the fifteen years 
they have been growing attained a height of from twenty-five to thirty 
feet and a diameter averaging about six and a half inches. These trees 
have been growing in good ground and have been given good care, and I 
think their size is considerably less than that of standard varieties of ap- 
ples would have been under similar conditions. We consider from four to 
five bushels a fairly good yield for these trees." (Albert Dickens, Horti- 
culturist, Kansas State Agricultural College, Manhattan, Kansas, Septem- 
ber 6, 1916.) 

"Persimmon, not usually considered a timber tree, but the most valuable 
as food for stock of any forest tree that I know of, as it is a most pro- 
fuse bearer, seldom failing to bear a crop and very nutritious." (Letter 
from E. A. Riehl, Alton, Illinois, July 16, 1913.) 



"Hogs, cattle, cows, and horses are fond of them. I couldn't 
tell which likes them better — and mule colts! Just turn them 
out and they go to the persimmon tree first thing. They just 
love persimmons better than anything. Yes, sir!" 

Then telling of his farm practice he continued: 

"I found that I had a lot of land; it was just washing away, 
and here was natural produce in these good persimmons. I just 
put my men to looking for the best persimmon they could find, 
and we planted the seed." 

To my question about the time of bearing, Dr. Hardman 
replied, "The trees are full before they get as high as your 
head. 18 Another thing is, they do not seem to need any rich 
land, but just grow right out of the side of a gully. They don't 
seem to have any disease except a girdler, and he doesn't hurt 
them much — they live on. Crops grow right up to a persimmon 

The facts which caused Dr. Hardman to plant persimmon 
seed in his fields seem to be widely known throughout the 
South and parts of the Ohio Valley. However, this knowledge 
appears to have produced little result other than fairly com- 
mon practice" of leaving the wild persimmon standing in pas- 
tures when clearing the woods and thickets. 

17 "In North Carolina I have seen boys getting persimmons from the 
trees where the hogs were pasturing, and it required three boys to get the 
persimmons — one to keep the hogs back, one to knock the fruit from the 
tree, and one to pick it up. And the boys had to be quick if the hogs did 
not get a share." (D. S. Harris, of Roseland, Capital Landing Road, Wil- 
liamsburg, Pennsylvania, in a letter to H. P. Gould, Pomologist in charge, 
Fruit District Investigations, Washington, D. C, March 26, 1913.) 

18 My own observation of many wild persimmons in Virginia confirms 

19 This situation is fairly well proved and described by the following 
excerpts from some letters kindly secured for me by Messrs. W. A. Tay- 
lor and H. P. Gould of the United States Department of Agriculture: 

"In regard to the use of the native persimmon as a hog crop, will say '.hat 
I do not know of any parties in the state who have planted the persimmon 
with this idea in view, yet it is very common in the making of hog pas- 
tures to retain any native persimmons that may be growing there with the 
idea of the hogs gathering the fruit. I believe that this is a most valuable 
fruit for hogs, and I have been collecting a number of our native persim- 



I have found one other farmer, the late R. 0. Lombard, of 
Augusta, Georgia, who was enthusiastically grafting the na- 
tive persimmons that stood in his fields. He did this to get hog 
feed as one of the crops in his systematic series of tree-crops- 
for-hogs-forage system. I saw the trees standing in the white 

mons that ripen their fruit at different stages with the idea of having them 
come on in succession from early fall until midwinter. (C. C. Newman, 
Horticulturist, Agricultural Experiment Station, Clemson College, South 

"A number of native persimmon trees are found in almost every pasture 
in this section of the state, and the hogs consume the fruit freely; how- 
ever, very little attention is paid to the trees." (Letter, April 10, 1913, H. 
P. Stuckey, Horticulturist, Georgia Experiment Station, Experiment, 

"I have noticed this, that hogs seem to like them very much and make 
paths through the woods and fields going to the trees to pick them up as 
fast as they fall and seem to relish them very much, and they are gen- 
erally in fine condition during persimmon season, though the acorn and 
other nut crops generally come off at the same time. Owing to the fact 
that the persimmon is very full of sugar, I think it very fattening and 
would be a fine thing to enclose in hog pastures following the everbearing 
mulberry which lasts through the summer." (Letter, April 22, 1913, John 
F. Sneed, proprietor, The Sneed Wholesale and Retail Nurseries, Tyler, 

"As a matter of fact a great many hog lots have persimmon trees in 
them, some of which may have been left because of the liking of the hogs 
for the fruit of the trees. Only one man of whom I know has any consid- 
erable quantity of the persimmon trees in his hog lot. It seems that he 
has chosen this lot in part because of the presence of the trees. He also 
has mulberries growing in the same area for the same purpose. I refer to 
Mr. Sam Wilder, proprietor of the Trinity Dairy, whose postoffice address 
is Cary, North Carolina." (Letter, April 29, 1913, J. P. Pillsbury, Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station, West Raleigh, North Carolina.) 

"Here in southern Indiana where native persimmons abound, nearly 
every one appreciates the value of persimmons for hogs. I had a hog pas- 
ture on one of my farms in a native persimmon orchard, and their value 
is almost equal to corn, after they get ripe, but cannot be utilized at any 
stage of growth like corn. But after they begin to ripen and lose their 
astringency, they turn rapidly to sugar that has a decided fattening prop- 
erty. I had a lot of hogs in a pen that contained two wild or native per- 
simmon trees; as I was fattening these hogs I kept plenty of corn by 
them, but it was very interesting to watch these porkers ever on the alert 
for the familiar sound of persimmons, following and vieing with each 
other in trying to be first to reach the fruit, leaving any kind of feed. 
I know a party near me who planted a considerable orchard of Golden 
Gem persimmons on purpose for hogs and paid (I think) $1.00 each for 
the trees." (Letter, March 25, 1913, Alvia G. Gray, Salem, Indiana, 
R. No. 4.) 




sand of his coast plain cowpea fields and bending down with 
fruit (page 257). 

It should be a nice element of farm management to let the 
pigs that picked up their own living on mulberries in June and 
July continue the process with persimmons from September 
until Christmas or snowfall. 


All this promise in the American fields and woods comes 
from one species (diospyrus virginiana). Its range is at least a 
million square miles of area. 

In this wide variety of climates, soils, elevations, and ex- 
posures, nature has made this species into an almost infinite 
variety of forms. These offer great promise alike to the 
searcher for trees fit to propagate and for the plant breeder. 
Mr. Fletcher of the United States Department of Agriculture, 
who has spent much time studying persimmons, states it thus: 
"The wide variations shown by the fruit in size, color, season 
of maturity and tendency to seedlessness, and by the trees in 
size, shape, and vegetative vigor, indicate the possibility of 
greatly improving the native persimmon." 20 Analyses 21 of 
persimmon pulp expressed in per cent, pulp show one speci- 
men of diospyros virginiana to have 29 per cent, solids while 
another had 48 per cent, solids. The low one had 26.30 per 
cent, nitrogen free extract, the other 43.88 — suggestive varia- 

Now here is the stupendous fact. There are two hundred 
species of persimmons scattered about the world." A veritable 
gold mine, first for the plant hunter, and then for the plant 

20 United States Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin 685, The 
Native Persimmon, by W. F. Fletcher. 

Journal of American Chemical Society, Vol. XXVIII, No. 6, June, 
1906, "Growth and Ripening of Persimmons," by W. D. Bigelow, H. C. 
Gore, and B. J. Howard, pp. 688-703. 

22 Yearbook, United States Department of Agriculture, 1911, p. 416. 



There should be a corps of men at work right now upon the 
persimmon. Think of the work involved in finding the dozen 
best wild parent persimmon trees suited to make a crop series 
for East Texas, the Ozarks, southern Indiana, central Ten- 
nessee, north Florida, central Georgia, eastern North Caro- 
lina, western North Carolina, central Virginia, southeastern 
Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and for extend- 
ing the range to places where it does not now grow. 

Here alone is a heavy task — the adequate search of Ameri- 
can fence rows, fields, and woods for parent trees. It is a work 
of years. Testing these trees is another work of years. Breed- 
ing better ones is yet another work of years. And no one is 
doing it. And then there are the one hundred and ninety-eight 
foreign species, of which one, diospyrus kaki, has been made 
into the glorious golden fruit known to the Peking travelers 
and important to the Chinese in so many forms. 

"There are at least six species of diospyros (temperate and 
sub-tropical) d. virginiana, U. S. A.; d. kaki, China; d. chi- 
nensis, China; d. conazotti, Mexico; d. sonorae, Mexico; 

23 Concerning one of the few American experiment station plantings, 
Professor Albert Dickens, of Manhattan, Kansas, writes (September 2, 
1927), "Our planting of persimmons has been very satisfactory, but the 
named varieties are not much more desirable than a number of our seed- 
lings. As a matter of fact, I think that two of the best we have are 

"In spite of the fact that they are particularly tempting to the student 
body, we have harvested considerable quantities and have had a fairly 
ready sale for them when marketed in strawberry boxes or small baskets." 

"The trees that have borne five bushels of fruit were seedlings of the 
1901 crop, being now twenty-six years old. They are about thirty-five feet 
in height and six to eight inches in diameter at breast height. They are 
almost as large as an apple tree of that age. For fruit production, I think 
the trees should not be spaced closer than thirty feet." (Letter from Pro- 
fessor Albert Dickens, Department of Horticulture, Kansas State Agricul- 
tural College.) 

Professor James Neilson, Horticulturist at Port Hope Station, Ontario, 
reports a seedling persimmon from southern Missouri stock bearing fruit 
on the farm of Lloyd Vanderburg, Simcoe, Ontario, ninety miles from 
Niagara Falls and seven miles from Lake Erie. This place is somewhat 
protected from spring frosts by the lake, but the late-sleeping persimmon 
is not supposed to be a spring frost victim. 



d. rosei, Mexico, and probably more that yield edible fruits 
and are hardy enough to be grown in the limits of the United 
States. I think a careful study of the species of this very large 
genus would bring to light two or three times this many. They 
should be studied exhaustively. 

"At least four species are now used for stocks: D. lotus, 
D. kaki, D. sinensis, D. chinensis, and D. virginiana. Many 
more should be tested and probably some would be valuable." 
(Letter dated August 25, 1927, from Mr. Walter T. Swingle, 
Physiologist in charge, Bureau of Plant Industry, United 
States Department of Agriculture.) 

The persimmon alone could occupy profitably for many 
decades the time and resources of an institution with a staff 
of twenty to forty persons. They could probably produce crops 
that would rival corn, as well as the apple and the orange. 



Three men sat chatting at leisure under a chestnut tree on 
the little common of a Corsican village. It was a beautiful day 
in June. As the chestnut trees were only now blooming, it 
would be two full months before these men, one-crop farmers 
and owners of chestnut orchards, would have to go to work. 

For miles I had ridden along a good stone road that wound 
in and out along the face of the mountainside, a mountainside 
that was much like my own Blue Ridge in Virginia, with one 
chief difference — this mountainside was higher and more pros- 
perous than its Virginia prototype. The road at about two 
thousand feet above sea level went for miles along the moun- 
tain through a zone of chestnut orchards. In and out it went, 
in and out through coves and around headlands. Down near 
the sea level it was too dry for the chestnut, for Corsica is a 
land of Mediterranean climate, with little summer rain at low 
altitudes. Up near the top of the mountain it was too cool 
for the chestnut; but throughout a middle zone one thousand 
feet or more in elevation, the chestnut was at home. I think 
that in fifteen miles I had not been more than one hundred 
yards from a chestnut tree. If I was correctly informed, every 
chestnut tree in the wide area that stretched up the slope and 
down the slope was a grafted tree. At frequent intervals I 
had passed substantial, comfortable-looking stone villages, 
villages that looked older than the gnarly chestnut trees that 
shaded them. 

I wanted to learn the system by which these trees made a 
living for the village folk, so I joined the three men who sat 




chatting on the little common. It was a simple story that they 
told me. The men of the village were farmers. Their chief 
estate and sustenance were tracts of the grafted chestnut 
orchards that surrounded the village in all directions. In addi- 
tion they owned little terraced vegetable gardens and alfalfa 
patches near the village. Every morning a flock of milch goats, 
attended by some member of the family, and perhaps accom- 
panied by a donkey or two, or by a mule, went out to browse 
beneath the trees. Goat's milk, goat's-milk cheese, and goat 
flesh were important articles of diet in the village. I found that 
a meal of goat's-milk cheese and cakes made of chestnut flour 
was good food. 

The men told me that the year's work begins in August or 
September. A few weeks before chestnuts are ripe, the or- 
chards are scythed to remove the things that goats and mules 
can not eat. Then in September comes the chestnut harvest. 
At that season there is no school. Even the children help the 
men and women to pick up chestnuts. The nuts are carried 
upon the backs of donkeys and mules to the village. After har- 
vest, pigs are loosed to turn over the leaves and find the nuts 
that have escaped the human eye. 

Some of the nuts are shipped fresh to market, but the main 
crop is dried for local use. Upon the slatted floor of a stone- 
dry house, the nuts are spread to a depth of two or three feet. 
From a slow fire in the basement smoke and heat arise through 

1 Paris restaurateurs and butchers say that chestnut-fed pork is as good 
as any pork and is usually considered to be of superior quality. (Letter 
from American Vice-consul General, Paris, August 12, 1913.) 

"Smoked pork coming from pigs raised in a chestnut district is re- 
garded as a great specialty, and its superiority to ordinary pork is so 
marked that the pigs are fed almost exclusively on chestnuts from October 
to the end of March." (Letter, Wesley Frost, American Consul-General in 
charge, Marseilles, August 4, 1927.) 

The American Consul at Seville, Spain, wrote, September 29, 1914: 

"Frequently the chestnut crop in the northern part of this district is 
sufficiently plentiful to go far toward fattening the famous Extremaduran 



the slatted floor to dry the nuts that are spread upon it. This 
kills all worms and cures the nuts so that they will keep as 
well as any other grain. The air space between the shell and 
the shrunken meats makes good ventilating space. 

The chestnut is to the Corsican mountaineer " what corn is 
to the Appalachian mountaineer in the fastnesses of Carolina, 
Kentucky, or Tennessee, except that Corsica grows more of 
chestnuts than Appalachia does of corn. 3 In the place of the 
Appalachian corn bread, the Corsican has chestnut bread; in 
the place of corn to feed the animals, the Corsican uses dried 
chestnuts. One of my informants — the mayor of the village — 
took me around to the barn and showed me how his horse rel- 
ished a feed of dried chestnuts. She crunched them, shells and 
all, exactly as my horses crunched corn. 

While my new-found friends were telling me about their 
system of agriculture, a woman and a little girl came out to 
show me cakes made of chestnut meal. The cakes were to be 
used at a feast in honor of the marriage of the priest's sister. 
For these festive cakes the chestnut meal was wrapped in chest- 
nut leaves for baking. 4 

2 The Corsican crop of 1925 was 95,000 metric tons, worth $1,650,000. 
(Letter, September 23, 1927, from Lucien Memminger, American Consul, 
Bordeaux.) The production of chestnuts that year in Corsica per square 
mile was more than that of wheat in Kansas (28 tons to 25). The next year 
Kansas doubled its wheat crop. Consul Memminger states that the Corsican 
crop was reported to be 90,000 tons in 1924 and 95,000 in 1927. 

3 In 1925 Corsica grew 28 metric tons of chestnuts per square mile. The 
corresponding figures for corn for 1924 were as follows: Bledsoe County, 
Tennessee, 29 tons; Yancy County, North Carolina, 21 tons; Buncombe 
County, North Carolina, 17 tons; Mitchell County, North Carolina, 15 tons; 
Harlan County, Kentucky, 5 tons; Bell County, Kentucky, 8 tons. On the 
per capita basis, the figures were Corsica, chestnuts 740 lbs. and of corn 
for the American counties, Bledsoe County, Tennessee, 2,040; Yancy 
County, North Carolina, 1,630 pounds; Buncombe County, North Carolina, 
400 lbs.; Mitchell County, North Carolina, 800 pounds; Harlan County, 
Kentucky, 200 pounds; Bell County, Kentucky, 300 pounds. (Information 
from office Farm Management, United States Department of Agriculture 
and Consul Memminger, Bordeaux, letter September 23, 1927.) 

4 In Palmero, Sicily, I was told that a laborer's breakfast often con- 
sisted of leaf greens, bread, and chestnuts. 



The leaves from chestnut trees also furnished bedding for 
the animals in lieu of the American straw; dead branches from 
the trees furnish firewood. They had a regular system of sell- 
ing the old trees to the factories that manufacture tannin 
from chestnut wood. The trees stood about irregularly al- 
most as Nature would place them, as she had doubtless placed 
the first trees at the beginning of chestnut orcharding some 
centuries ago. As a tree approached old age, a young tree was 
planted as near to the old tree as possible. The younger tree 
lived for ten, fifteen, perhaps for twenty years a stunted and 
suppressed life, but it grew a little and got its roots well estab- 

The moment the big tree was taken away, sunshine, light, 
and free fertility made the erstwhile starveling grow rapidly 
to fill the place of the old giant that had made its final grand 
cash contribution. This regular system of retirements and re- 
placements kept these orchards continually replenished tree 
by tree — generation after generation — century after century. 

I asked one of my Corsican informants how long these or- 
chards had been established. This man happened to be a gov- 
ernment official from the nearby city who spent his summers 
in the chestnut village of his nativity. 

"Oh," said he, "a hundred years, five hundred years, a thou- 
sand years, — always!" 

In English phrase he might have said, "The memory of man 
runneth not to the contrary." It seems to be a matter of record 
that the chestnut was introduced into Corsica by the soldiers 
of the Roman occupation, and the gentleman was right in 

5 "To encourage heavy crops of nuts the trees are kept far enough apart 
for the light of the sky fully to reach the ends of all branches. 

"The annual increase of wood in the chestnut orchards of Italy is re- 
ported to be very low because the situation is somewhat akin to the pro- 
duction of wood in an apple orchard. The chestnut trees are kept for their 
nuts long after they have passed the maximum of wood making. It is an- 
other way to say that the nuts are more valuable than the wood." (Raphael 
Zon, United States Bureau of Forestry, letter, March 23, 1923.) 



maintaining that the chestnut business of his mountainside 
had been going on uninterruptedly for many centuries. 

This Corsican chestnut farming is typical of that which 
covers many thousands of steep and rocky acres in central 
France, some of the slopes of the Alps, of the mountains of 
Spain and Italy, and of parts of the Balkans. Especially do I 
recall when crossing the Apennines from Bologna to Florence 
the marked and sudden increase of population that occurred 
at about two thousand feet elevation. The slopes below two 
thousand feet were treeless and on them are few evidences 
of people. At two thousand feet where the chestnut forests 
begin, the villages were numerous, large, and substantial. 

Compare this age-old and permanent European mountain 
farming with the perishing corn farms of our own Appalachian 
mountains. The farmer of Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky 
mountains has the cornfield as his main standby. He has a 
garden, perhaps in the woods some pigs — largely acorn-fed, 
some cows and sheep which range the glades and hills and 
pick such living as they can. The corn crop is the main 
standby. Corn bread is the chief food of the family. If there 
be enough the pig or sheep or cow may get a little, or again 
they may not. The part that corn whiskey has played in the 
history of this region need not be expanded here. 

The economic contrast between the Corsican and Appa- 
lachian mountaineers is striking. In Corsica the stone house 
in contrast to the log cabin of Appalachia; in Corsica the 
good stone road going on a horizontal plane along the moun- 
tainside in contrast to the miserable trails running up and 
down the American mountain; the Corsican mountain covered 
with majestic trees whose roots hold the soil in place, in 
contrast to the American mountainside deforested, gashed with 

1 "The date of the earliest grafting on chestnut trees cannot be deter- 
mined, but there are in existence trees over one thousand years old which 
have been grafted." (Wesley Frost, American Consul General in charge, 
Marseilles, letter, August 4, 1927.) 



gullies, gutted, and soon abandoned. When the Corsican starts 
a crop, he does it by planting beautiful trees whose crops he 
and his children and his children's children will later pick up 
from year to year. When the American mountaineer wants to 
sow a crop, he must fight for it, a fight without quarter, a fight 
to the death of the mountain. First he cuts and burns forests, 
then he must struggle with the roots and stones in the rough 
ground of a new field. The sprouting shoots of the trees and 
tree roots must be cut with a hoe. This is the most expensive 
form of cultivation, but often the steep and stony ground can 
be tilled in no other way. In a few seasons the mountainside 
cornfield is gullied to ruin, and the mountaineer — the raper of 
the mountain — must laboriously make another field. No race 
of savages, past or present, has been so destructive of soil as 
have been the farmers of the southeastern part of the United 
States during the past century. 

There is one argument for corn. It is a great and destructive 
argument. The plant is annual. The labor of the husbandman 
is quickly rewarded. The ruin of his farm comes later. 

As between corn and chestnuts as types of mountain agri- 
culture, the labor cost appears to be plainly in favor of the 

The chestnut also seems to be more productive than corn. 
Much sifting of facts among the chestnut growers of Corsica 
and France seems to show that the chestnut is a better yielder 
of food in the mountains of those countries than corn and 
oats are in the mountains of Carolina and Kentucky. 7 The 

7 An authoritative book on chestnut culture in France is he Chataignier, 
by Jean-Baptiste Lavaille, Paris, Vigot Freres, 1906. This book says, "A 
good French chestnut orchard yields on the average thirty-two hectoliters 
per hectare," or about two thousand pounds per acre. 

United States Daily Consular Report, July 20, 1912, p. 343, reports that 
"148,000 acres of chestnuts in the reporter's district in Spain yielded, 1910, 
2534 pounds of chestnuts to the acre." 

The average yield of corn in seven mountain counties of North Carolina, 
Tennessee, and Kentucky for 1919 was 1,124 pounds, for 1924 it was 1,145 
pounds. For the same counties the yield of oats per acre was, 1919, 363 
pounds; 1924, 524 pounds. Mr. Raphael Zon of the Bureau of Forestry 



yields are about the same in quantity, but the corn yield can 
be made only occasionally and for a short period of time be- 
fore erosion destroys the field. In contrast to this the chestnut 
yields on and on and holds in place the ground it feeds on. 

Mr. Pierri, a wealthy proprietor and merchant of the Corsi- 
can village of Stazzona, valued chestnut orchards in his vicin- 
ity at $230 per acre in 1913. For some orchards the price was 
more, for others it was less. At $230 per acre an orchard should 
have thirty-five to forty trees per acre, which would give a 
value of about six dollars per tree. A tree with a girth of one 
meter was worth six dollars, but a big tree was worth fifteen 
to twenty dollars because it bore more nuts. This land valua- 
tion was based upon an earning of sixteen dollars to twenty 
dollars per acre net at that time, 1913. This income in turn 
was based upon an average production of thirty-one hundred 
pounds per acre with fluctuations ranging between seventeen 
hundred and more than four thousand pounds per year. 

I saw this land. It was as steep as a house roof and is shown 
in Figs. 9 and 10. Similar land without chestnuts had almost 
no value. 

tells me that the 1,600,000 acres of chestnut orchards of Italy (good, bad, 
and indifferent) yield on the average about 1,000 pounds of nuts per acre. 
The American Consul at Marseilles, France, reported in 1912, for the 190,000 
acres in his district, a yield of 1,320 pounds to the acre, worth 0.8 cent 
per pound or $10.46 per acre. 

Professor Grand, Professor of Agriculture at Grenoble, said, 1913, that 
matured chestnut trees 70 years old, 25 to 30 meters apart, 12 to a hectare 
or 4 to an acre, would bear an average crop of 150 to 200 kilos per tree. 
This is 1,320 to 1,760 pounds per acre. He insisted on this as an average, 
and said that the yield at times would be 4,000 to 5,000 kilos of nuts per 
hectare in a year of big crop (3,520 to 4,400 pounds per acre). 

A big tall tree near the village of Pedicroce in Corsica had a girth of 
4.60 meters, a spread of 60 feet, stood on a terrace with nothing on three 
sides of it, and beside it was alfalfa on which its roots could feed. The 
owner stoutly held that it yielded 1,000 liters of nuts on the average, that 
the tree varied in production but little from year to year, and that he gath- 
ered nuts himself and therefore was sure of his facts. 



The chestnut is a regular crop on systematized farms in at 
least one section of south central France. I saw it near the 
towns of Jouillac and Pompadour in the department of Cor- 
reze. Under this system the farmer plants about one-third of 
the farm land to grafted chestnut trees. The crop function is 
almost identical with that of corn on a farm in Pennsylvania, 
Kentucky, or Wisconsin. As the corn is used in these states 
for forage, so is the chestnut used in France. When the French 
farms are rented the agreements usually contain a provision 
similar to that found in many American leases with regard to 
corn, the French provision requiring that the chestnut shall 
be fed on the farm so that the land may benefit by the fer- 
tilizing value of the crop. Sometimes this land that is in chest- 
nuts is good arable land, sometimes the trees are planted in 
rows and cultivated — true tree-corn indeed. 8 

I think that it is accurate to say that in this district cover- 
ing many square miles of gently rolling country, one-third of 
the area is in trees, ninety-nine per cent, of the trees are chest- 
nut, and virtually all the chestnuts are grafted. It is the regu- 
lar rule of the country that one-third of a man's farm is in 
chestnut for nut crop with a by-product of wood; one-third 
of the farm is in tilled fields; one-third is in pasture and hay 

8 The following interesting prices are reported from the chestnut-grow- 
ing provinces Correze and Aveyron by American Consul Lucien Mem- 
minger, Bordeaux, letter, September 23, 1927: 

Per 100 kilos 

Dry chestnuts 230 francs 

Wheat 155 francs 

Indian corn 170 francs 

9 I have seen other French localities in which the fields were small and 
every fence row or boundary was bordered by a solid row of great chestnut 
trees, which thus covered a substantial percentage of the area. 

The area of cultivated chestnuts seems to be declining in most of the 
French districts, especially Corsica. The following reasons are cited: 



Japan has a species of chestnuts different from those of 
America or Europe. They are larger than any of the American 
or European chestnuts, are less sweet, but like the sweet po- 
tato they are full of starch and nourishment. The chestnuts of 
Japan, like those of Europe, are used for both forage and 
human food. Japanese government bulletins recommend the 
use of chestnuts for hillside planting and grafting as it is done 
in Europe and as it was done in America. In one of the best- 
known chestnut localities in the Japanese mountains about 
forty miles northwest of Kyoto, the value of the poorest chest- 

(1) Such a large income is to be derived from sending the trees to tannin 
factories, a comparatively new industry. 

(2) The ravages of a disease called "maladie de l'encre" (blepharospora 

(3) A great increase in cost of gathering them which now amounts to 
fifty per cent, of their value. This is due to the increasing scarcity of 
hired labor. 

A chestnut grove of say four hundred trees (about twenty-five acres) 
costs as follows to harvest: 

Labor for 45 days to clear away shrubs, etc. .. 600 francs 

40 loads of wood as fuel for drying 250 francs 

200 days' labor, mostly women and children, 

for the harvesting of the chestnuts 2,000 francs 

Total 2,850 francs 

The crop would amount to 1,200 decaliters (or 12,000 liters) of dried chest- 
nuts, worth at four francs per decaliter, a total of 4,800 francs. (Letter, 
Wesley Frost, American Consul General in charge, Marseilles, August 4, 

These facts of decline should be considered in connection with the fol- 
lowing facts. There has been recent decline of rural population in all the 
chestnut districts of France as well as in nearly all the other districts of 
France. This is accompanied by a decline of acreage of nearly all other 
crops in the chestnut localities and also the closing down of mines in Cor- 
sica. It should also be remembered that during the period 1920-26 there was 
a very sharp decline in rural population in nearly every American state, 
and many farms were abandoned, as much, for example, as five hundred 
thousand acres of land in the state of Ohio alone. (Information on chest- 
nuts from Lucien Memminger, American Consul, Bordeaux, letter, Septem- 
ber 23, 1927; and from Hugh H. Watson, American Consul, Lyons, France, 
letter, October 12, 1927.) 






nut (30 to 35 yen per tan) was more than that of the poor- 
est rice land, while the best (irrigated) rice land was twice as 
valuable as the best mountainside chestnut land above it. 

Japan's mountain chestnut orchards do not differ greatly 
from those of Europe. As I observed the mountainsides of 
Japan, the conspicuous thing about them seemed to be the 
small area given to tree crops. This seems unfortunate when 
one considers the great proportion of Japanese land that is not 
tillable and the great need for food in that crowded land. Per- 
haps the chief reason for the small extension of hillside chest- 
nut growing in Japan is to be found in the widespread prac- 
tice of cutting grass and herbage from the hillsides annually 
and carrying it down to fertilize the rice fields in the flat lands. 
The mountainside cannot yield fertilizer and wood and also 
nuts . Orchards of either nuts or fruit are not common in China, 
but scattered trees for fruit and nuts are widespread in many 
hilly localities. The Chinese chestnuts are more like the Amer- 
ican nut in flavor, and many are larger in size. Chinese chest- 
nuts hold great promise as a basis for a future American crop. 


The American chestnut is a fine tree for timber. It has the 
good timber qualities of swift growth and ability to throw up 
shoots or suckers from the stump. The value of this is seen by 
comparison with pine. Cut down a pine, and it dies; cut down 
a chestnut and at the end of the first year the stump will have 
twenty or fifty shoots, some of them six feet high. At the end 
of the second year the suckers may well be ten feet in height. 
In a very few years they will have attained a size sufficient 
to make them useful as poles. This quality of rapid growth of 
the suckers is a great advantage in the production of nuts. 
When the trees are cut for lumber, the resulting shoots can be 
grafted in a year. Fruit can be had as quickly as from the 
. apple tree, or even more quickly in many varieties of chest- 

FIG. 47. Top. South Central France. Nearly all trees in landscape, 
grafted chestnuts. A part of farm system — corn substitute. — FIG. 48. Cen- 
ter. The Apennines near Florence, Italy. Terraced wheat fields, fore-, 
ground. Grafted chestnuts, background. Value of terrace and orchard 
same as Illinois cornland. — FIG. 49. Bottom. Corsican chestnut monarch. 
The man stands by its understudy and successor. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 



' 'X^A 

'■' .-■ / " ! 

FIG. 50. Top Chestnut harvest from grafted trees (suckers) in Pennsyl- 
vania stump land, 1908. (Courtesy J. G. Reist.) — FlG 51. Center. Sys- 
tematic planting of chestnuts on level land, Southern France, to grow 
forage — regular farm system. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) — FIG. 52. Bot- 
tom. Chestnut suckers grafted to paragon variety fifteen months before 
photographing. (Photo J. G. Reist.) 



The native American chestnut has a delicious flavor. Very 
little use has been made of these nuts considering the fact that 
they once grew wild to the extent of millions of bushels on hun- 
dreds of thousands of square miles of the eastern United States. 
They were a source of income for the Appalachian mountaineer 
in many sections and for boys on farms along the fringes of 
the Appalachians. Looking for the beautiful brown nuts under 
the trees in the woods is a lure to the hunting instincts of man. 

Only a few million pounds were sent to American markets. 
These nuts were eaten along the street, at Hallowe'en parties, 
and beside the open fire after supper; perhaps we should not 
omit their service in school to alleviate for country boys the 
tedium of lessons. American wild chestnuts were important to 
the Indian, the squirrel, the opossum, and the bear; but a cen- 
tury and a quarter after the Declaration of Independence, 
they rotted by the million bushels in the forests from Vermont 
to Alabama. 

The great drawback of the American chestnut was its small 
size and the added disadvantage that many of them stuck fast 
in the bur and had to be removed by force. These disadvan- 
tages helped to make the Indian's corn preferable as the fron- 
tiersman's chief crop. For the same reason the large nuts of 
Europe appealed to the first experimenters with grafted chest- 
nut trees and chestnut orchards. 

Thomas Jefferson grafted some European varieties of chest- 
nut on his Monticello estate in 1775, but an extensive intro- 
duction by Irenee Du Pont de Nemours of Wilmington, Dela- 
ware, about the beginning of the 19th century, seems to have 
been responsible for their rather wide distribution by the 
year 1900 over southeastern Pennsylvania and the adjacent 
parts of Delaware and New Jersey. As early as 1893 the late 
Edwin Satterthwaite at Jenkintown, ten miles north of Phila- 
delphia, had the roadsides and fence rows of his truck farm 
lined with a great assortment of chestnut trees, many of which 
were grafted and produced nuts of many different sizes and- 




shapes, some probably two inches or possibly two and one- 
quarter inches in their largest dimensions; these nuts were 
sold in Philadelphia markets. I suspect, although I cannot 
now prove it, that some of those nuts were better than the 
Paragon (I am sure that some were three or four times as 
heavy). The Paragon variety became the favorite of a young 
and promising American industry in the '90's of the last cen- 
tury. This Paragon favorite, originating in eastern Pennsyl- 
vania, was considered to be a cross between a European and a 
native American nut. It was very vigorous. I have seen grafts 
make six feet the first year. It was not uncommon for the 
grafts to yield good nuts the second year. Not unnaturally 
there was quite a boom for orchards of grafted chestnuts in 
the '90's. For example, Mr. John G. Reist of Mt. Joy, Penn- 
sylvania, together with some associates, had eight hundred 
acres of hill land near the Susquehanna River in Lancaster 
County, Pennsylvania, stump-grafted to Paragons." 

Then came the chestnut blight. It came with an importa- 
tion of some oriental plants. It spread concentrically from 
Brooklyn, where it first broke out 1 2 in 1904. In a few years 
all these commercial orchards were gone. Every tree is dead 
on my twenty-five acres save one little Japanese tree which 
sprang up from the seed of a Japanese variety. 

10 This rich collection of trees seems to have escaped the attention of 
professional horticulturists. I saw them only with the indiscriminating eyes 
of a schoolboy, but I am sure that they were of many sizes and shapes and 
mostly of European origin. Some, however, seemed to be natives of small 
size that ripened nearly a month before other natives in the same locality. 

11 In the year 1908 before this orchard was mature and after the blight 
had begun to kill trees it produced thirteen hundred bushels, which netted 
five and one-half cents per pound. The late C. K. Sober, of Lewisburg, 
Pennsylvania, had three hundred or four hundred acres on a nearby moun- 
tain ridge. I had twenty-five acres on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Vir- 
ginia about fifteen miles southwest of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 
These are only a few of the plantings. 

12 Persons desiring to know the history and exact status of this calamity 
at any particular time can probably get information from the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. It is now (1928) sweeping onward through the south- 

." ern Appalachians, spreading by birds, winds, and possibly by commerce. 
It may kill every chestnut tree in North America that is not immune. 



So far as I know, the only successful orchards of improved 
chestnuts in America at this time are a few small ones in the 
Middle West not yet visited by the blight. That of the late 
E. A. Riehl, Godfrey, Illinois, is worthy of special mention. 
He turned the steep Mississippi bluffs to good account with 
an orchard of grafted chestnut and walnut trees that has 
proved productive and profitable. 


This chestnut blight which is so deadly to the American 13 
and European chestnuts has been found to be a native to 
China. Chinese chestnuts have been exposed to this blight for 
centuries and have, therefore, developed immunity or high re- 
sistance. The Japanese nuts are also more resistant than the 
American, and it is possible, even probable, that some Japa- 
nese trees producing nuts of good quality and much larger than 
the native American nut have survived the blight in Maryland 
and that from these a chestnut orchard industry can be built 
up in the eastern United States. The restoration of our chest- 
nut forests and orchards, therefore, seems to be a problem 
capable of solution along known lines. 

In case they are not already surviving in our midst we may 
introduce blight-proof trees from the blight region into our 
own blight-ridden territories. The Federal Government has 
done this with diligence, and they have introduced and dis- 
tributed several thousand trees of the Chinese varieties. Some 
of these have died with blight and some have not. I know one 
which has given two small crops and seems to be perfectly 
healthy, after ten years' exposure to the blight at Swarthmore, 
Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. The nuts are like the Amer- 
ican nuts in size and quality, but very few in quantity on this 
particular tree. 

13 A few groups of natives have resisted the blight, but their seedlings 
have succumbed. However, this is a promising lead for the tree breeder. 
The survivors might be valuable to hybridize with some more resistant 


Another way to restore our chestnut orchards and forests 
is for the plant breeder to create the desired varieties. There 
is a promising collection of varietal material now at hand in 
the Chinese chestnut (castanea molissima), one or two other 
species of Chinese chestnut, the Japanese chestnut (c. cre- 
nata), and in one American variety, the chinquapin (castanea 
pumila), which, strange to say, is perfectly immune to the 
blight. The chinquapin offers an interesting element for the 
plant breeder in that it has sweetness to a high degree, while 
the Japanese nuts are large and coarse like a raw sweet potato. 
However, latest reports seem to indicate that there are or- 
chard varieties of Chinese chestnuts, large, of good quality, 
and not yet introduced into the United States. 

The theory of plant breeding depends upon (1) the fact 
of variations of individuals within the species or within the 
crossing range, and (2) crossing to get new combinations of 
qualities. The amount of variation among trees of the same 
species is a surprise to most laymen. One of the qualities in 
which trees differ is that of precocity. Those who think of 
all nut trees as being so very slow in coming into bearing may 
be amazed at the precocity shown by some trees as reported 
by Dr. Walter Van Fleet, at one time experimentalist for the 
Rural New Yorker and later with the Department of Agricul- 
ture. Dr. Van Fleet wrote to me on April 13, 1914, giving the 
following surprising results of a series of experiments in get- 
ting a precocious strain of Japanese chestnuts: 

No. 1. 1898. Japanese chestnut seeds planted. 

No. 2. 1902. Fruit produced by trees from No. 1. 

No. 3. 1903. Cross pollination of earliest ripening trees of 
No. 2. 

No. 4. 1904. Cross pollinated nuts of No. 3 planted. 

No. 5. 1906. No. 4 bore fruit, immediately planted. 

No. 6. 1909. No. 5 bore fruit profusely (in 3 years) — im- 
mediately planted. 

bw $&. i 

It -a. Li 

"^^H ^h jf^^S^I 


vj^ J 


^r^ Ti 


Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr. 

FIG. 53. Top. Below, American chinquapin (Castinea Pumila), 
natural size. Above, good-tasting hybrid, chinquapin x large 
tasteless Japanese. — FIG. 54. Bottom. Fourth generation of selec- 
tion in Japanese chestnuts. Tree twenty-three months from seed. 


1 > 

i . 



• it ¥ ."<^ 

,'-' *£ ^,j$& 



FIG. 55. Top. The Portuguese oak tree (ilex) that bore 1200 liters of 
acorns, close rival to an acre of American corn. — FIG. 56. Center. Grafted 
oak trees standing in grainfields in Spanish island of Majorca. — FIG. 57. 
Bottom. The Portuguese swineherd leading his wards from the earth- 
covered houses to the cork forest in the background where they harvest 
their own living. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 

No. 7. 1911. No. 6 bore fruit (as much as 32 nuts per tree, 
in two years after seed ripened) — fruit planted. 

No. 8. 1913. Trees from No. 7 bore in two years. 

In each generation of those crossed he selected the earliest 
ripening nuts for seed. Note the increasing precocity of the 

The above experiment was started before the blight came. 
After the blight appeared, Dr. Van Fleet started to breed 
blight-proof chestnuts by crossing Chinese and Japanese chest- 
nuts with the chinquapin. One of the results from among 
many, many nuts thus produced (chinquapin x molissima — 
[Chinese]) is described as follows by the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture: 

"The original tree is growing at the Bell (Md.) garden. This 
tree is more than ten years old and for the past five years has 
borne heavily each year. The nuts are about double the size 
of our native chestnuts and are sweet and palatable. The tree 
has shown no signs of blight. This tree and others are being 
made the subject of breeding and pathological studies by G. F. 
Gravatt, in charge of the chestnut-blight investigation of the 
Office of Forest Pathology." 

Unfortunately Dr. Van Fleet is dead and this work is not 
now being continued on any large scale. This is regrettable, 
for there is no reason to think that he made more than a be- 
ginning at the possibilities. 

Private experimenters 14 have done breeding work almost 

14 The Journal of Heredity, Vol. XIII, No. 7, July, 1922, pp. 311-14. 
"Eventually (1899) he (George W. Endicott, age 60, Villa Ridge, Illi- 
nois) produced five hybrid seeds (by crossing Japanese and American 
chestnuts) from which he raised three trees, naming them the Blair, the 
Boone, and the Riehl. Like the American sweet, the Blair and Boone pro- 
duced three nuts to the bur, while the Riehl produced a single perfect nut 
with an aborted nut on each side like the Japanese parent. All three first- 
generation hybrids produced nuts free in the bur like the Japanese parent. 
All of these trees showed tremendous vigor; the largest, the Riehl, 
had a spread of forty-five feet when twenty years old. The Blair and Riehl 
began to bear at four and five years, respectively, while the Boone bore 
its first nuts at seventeen months. When we compare this with the Japa- 






as suggestive of results and possibilities. Mr. Endicott, of Illi- 
nois, working with the enthusiasm of a creative mind, hybrid- 
ized American and Japanese chestnuts. Some good nuts were 
produced, and, what is of far, far greater significance, he pro- 
duced some which were proof against a local weevil, but un- 
fortunately it was not the dread chestnut weevil of the forests 
of the eastern United States. The chestnut weevil (worm) is at 
present a more deadly enemy of the chestnut industry in many 
locations than even the blight. This is because there has not 
yet been found any successful means by which we can at- 
tack this insect. Perhaps it is time that ornithology became 

nese and the American parents, which begin to bear at about six and twelve 
years, respectively, we gain some idea of the precocity which accompa- 
nied the hybrid condition. Van Fleet reports similar vigor in crossing 
Asiatic and European chestnuts with the chinquapin and the American 
sweet — the Japanese hybrids being again the most precocious. These hybrids 
were likewise heavy bearers, the Boone producing as much as six bushels 
in a single season. The vigorous growth of the hybrids is shown by their 
having a spread of over forty-five feet, while the American sweet and the 
Japanese parents measured about thirty and sixteen feet, respectively. 

"The second generation trees were very uneven in growth and size. The 
smallest was hardly more than eight feet high while the largest was about 
twenty feet high, when they both were fourteen years old. None of the 
trees showed the extreme vigor or precocity or heavy-bearing qualities 
characteristic of the first generation. While the original Boone tree bore 
its first nuts at seventeen months, the second generation Boone trees were 
from five to nine years old before bearing; this range almost covers the 
difference between the original Japanese and American sweet parents. Inl 
1920, for example, the second-generation trees ripened their nuts from the 
first week in September through the middle of October. 

"While the nuts on different trees showed a great range of variation in 
size, form, and tomentum, the nuts on any individual tree were remark- 
ably uniform. 

"For many years all the trees of both generations with one exception 
have been resistant to weevils like the Japanese parent. The single excep- 
tional tree has always given nuts badly infected with weevils, while all the 
rest of the trees in the orchard have been immune." 

In his private experimental grounds at Baldwin, New York, Mr. Willard 
Bixby planted the seeds of one of his chinquapin bushes. The nuts from 
one of these seedlings are three times as heavy as the nuts of the parent 
tree. Perhaps it is a variant. Perhaps it is a hybrid; if so it does not show 
it, but with dimensions of .87 inch x .87 it ranks with good American chest- 
nuts in size. Perhaps a new industry can start with this unusual little tree. 
(American Nut Journal, December, 1927, p. 115, for details of Mr. Bixby's 

more constructive. Why cannot the ornithologists work out 
some technique whereby we learn to grow insect-catching 
birds which would do for bothersome insects what the cat does 
for the mice? 

The chestnut-breeding achievements already attained do 
seem to prove that the chestnut for human food is about to 
come back to America, and that, too, chiefly through the ef- 
forts of one man (Van Fleet) working on introduced material. 

I now have a hundred little Chinese seedling chestnuts 
growing on my blight-ridden mountainside, and I am hoping 
that in a few more years I can graft them with some good, 
hardy, reliable blight-proof tree such as the one by Van Fleet 
above mentioned; then we can again have chestnuts at Hal- 
lowe'en. However, Hallowe'en nuts are not the great chestnut 
need of America. A few tens of thousands of acres will prob- 
ably glut the Hallowe'en market. Chestnuts in America will 
probably be, as they have been, a special, not a standard, ar- 
ticle of diet. 

The great chestnut need of America is for a forage nut to 
enable the Appalachian mountaineer and the owners of hill 
lands almost anywhere to abolish the corn field, as they now 
have it, by growing instead tree corn (chestnuts) for their 
pigs and cows. This market is hard to glut. For this purpose 
we need the largest and the most prolific nut, regardless of its 
quality as human food. If it tastes as bad as raw cornmeal or 
dried sweet potato, that will not interfere with its being good 
for pig feed or for chestnut flour that can be baked in the 
oven and seasoned with whatever seasoning may appeal. As 
possible raw material for breeding this kind of nuts, I recall 
a seedling Japanese chestnut grown by Julius Schnadelbach, 

15 "From a nut borne by the early-ripening 'Japan Mammoth' chestnut 
disseminated nearly twenty years ago. Japan Mammoth bears very large 
nuts, generally two in a bur, but we do not recollect any quite as bulky as 
those Mr. Schnadelbach sends. There were two in each bur as usual, each 
nut perfect and containing a 'meat' almost as large as a moderate potato. 
The quality when eaten raw was very tolerable for a Japan variety, being 




Grand Bay, Alabama. Its photograph, life size, shows a profile 
2.5 x 1.9 inches. A similar profile of a Paragon chestnut meas- 
ures 1.63x1.37 inches. A large egg measures 2.16 x 1.72 
inches. Multiplying the length of the Schnadelbach chestnut 
by its breadth gives 4.75 square inches; the Paragon gives 
2.23, and by the same process the egg gives 3.715 square 
inches. Therefore, harvesting chestnuts like the Schnadelbach 
is like gathering eggs or potatoes and can be done by hand 
for forage purposes even in high-wage America. 

To get the corn-substitute tree, we need one set of breeding 
experiments to produce the largest possible Japanese chest- 
nuts. 16 Then if they are not hardy they should be crossed with 
something that is hardy, continuing until a hardy strain is 
produced. We will then be ready to clothe hundreds of thou- 
sands and even millions of acres of our hill lands with a crop 
like that of Corsica. We can make an Appalachian Illinois 
which will yield for centuries, preserve the lands, and support 
generation after generation of people in greater physical and 
intellectual comfort than are the lot of the present generation 
of hill destroyers. 

You say this is too slow for the average American. There 
is the rub, but perhaps there is a way around this difficulty if 
we can focus a small fraction of our brains and money on it. 
One moderate-sized philanthropy can produce the new varie- 
ties and the farm technique. Then we need some philanthropy 

neither bitter nor astringent. The flesh was solid throughout, having no 
divisions filled with bitter skin as is commonly the case with very large 
chestnuts. A dozen of these monsters, properly boiled or roasted, would 
come near to making a hearty meal for a workingman." (Walter Van 
Fleet in Rural New Yorker, 1908, pp. 83s and 838.) 

10 The small size of the American chestnuts and most of the wild orien- 
tal chestnuts gives us reason to suspect that the native chestnut of Europe 
and eastern Asia might have been as small as our own and have been im- 
proved to a very great size by the process of chance breeding, more fully 
described in the chapter on the Persian Walnut. (See p. 164.) Since these 
astonishing results have been obtained prior to the discovery of the science 
of plant breeding, we have good reason to suppose that larger and finer 
nuts than any now known may easily be produced by a moderate amount 
of patience and skillful work. 



at five per cent, to make such orchards in thousand-acre blocks 
judiciously scattered and to sell them to bona fide farmers in 
small blocks at cost plus interest. Thus two decades might wit- 
ness an amount of progress that would otherwise require many 
decades, if indeed it could come at all by individual enterprise. 





The oak tree should sue poets for damages. Poets have sym- 
bolized the oak tree as sturdy and strong, but slow. The reiter- 
ations of poetry may be responsible for the fact that most 
people think of this tree as impossibly slow when one suggests 
it as the basis of an agricultural crop. On the contrary the 
facts about the oak are quite otherwise. 

The genus of oak trees holds possibility, one might almost 
say promise, of being one of the greatest of all food and forage 
producers in the lands of frost. Why has it not already be- 
come a great crop? That is one of the puzzles of history, in 
view of its remarkable qualities. 

(1) Some oaks are precocious in bearing nuts (acorns). 

(2) Some grow swiftly. 

(3) Some are very productive. 

(4) Some acorns are good to eat in the natural state, and 
most can be made good to eat by removing the tannin (a 
useful product, easily removed), which makes some acorns 
bitter to the taste. 

(5) The acorn has been used as a standard food for ages. 

(6) The food value of the acorn (pages 151, 304) shows 
that it stands well in the class of nutrients. Historically it has 
been a food for ages of the squirrel, opossum, raccoon, and 
bear. Among the four-footed brethren the hog above all might 
almost be called an acorn animal. For untold ages he has lived 
in the forests from Korea to Spain. In the autumns he has 
larded himself up with a layer of fat to carry him through 


I I 



the winter. As food for man the acorn has probably been used 
for unknown ages in many lands. It is still being used as food 
by man, his beasts, and the wildlings. 

As the pioneer farmers of Pennsylvania pushed aside the 
flowing stream of oil from their springs so that animals might 
drink water, so the modern world has pushed aside this good 
food plant, the oak tree. 

There is a strip of hills from New England to Alabama, from 
Alabama to Ohio, from Ohio to Missouri, and from Missouri 
down to Texas. On these hills men have been making their 
living by growing wheat, corn, oats, clover, and grass. Yet I 
am confident that in every county there are oak trees of such 
productivity that if made into orchards they would in any 
decade yield more food for man or beast than has been ob- 
tained on the average in any similar period on the hill farms 
of this wide region. 


The oak tree is productive. Down in Algarve, the southern- 
most province of Portugal, I heard of an ilex that bore 1,200 
liters (3514 liters equal 1 bushel) of acorns. The definiteness 
of the report was pleasing to the ear of one in search of facts, 
and the size of the yield was surprising. I went to see the tree. 
It stood alone in an unfenced outer yard at the edge of the 
village of St. Bras. The branches had a reach of only fifty- 
one feet. By long and devious methods I cross-questioned the 
owner, a widow of sixty. She always told the same story, and 
the neighbors believed it. The woman said that the tree bore 
1,200 liters on full years and 240 liters in the alternate years, 
and that the average yield was 720 liters per year. She said 
that she knew this because she had picked the acorns and 
sold them in the village. Selling acorns is a common but not 

1 The usual price was 260-300 reis per 20 liters. This made 15,600 milreis 
— 18,000 milreis or $16.84 to $19.44 American gold for the one tree on the 
big crop year. Data 1913. This income was based on pork, which brought 
nearly double the American price because of Portuguese tariff. 

hybrid from small hard-shell shagbark, left, and 
of life size. (Photo Willard Bixby.) 

FIG. 61. Top Left. The 
light-colored background at 
lower right side of picture 
is a stream bed. It helps 
to show the extreme steep- 
ness of this 'hillside or- 
chard of oaks (ilex) on the 
slopes of the Sierra Ne- 
vada Mountains (Spain). 
The farmer shown in pic- 
ture said he pastured his 
small pigs here but not the 
large ones. He said he 

l was afraid they would fall 
down the hill, which is so 
steep as to make climbing 
difficult. (Photo J. Rus- 
sell Smith.)— FIG. 62. Top 
Right. One of the many 
grafted oak trees on the 
stony hills of an estate at 
Espoelas, Majorca. The 
bark of stock is light, that 
of graft is dark. (Photos 
J. Russell Smith.)— FIG. 
63. Bottom Left. One of 
nature's miracles. Large 
good thin-shelled beaver 

bitternut, right; 55 per cent. 




The late Freeman Thorpe of Hubert, Minnesota, after some 
years of experimentation and actually measuring the acorns 
from test trees, was confident that the Minnesota black oak 
would average one hundred bushels of acorns per year on sandy 
land of low fertility — land that would make not more than 
thirty bushels of corn. He also thought that he could harvest 
the nuts as cheaply as he could harvest corn. Perhaps Colonel 
Thorpe was over-enthusiastic. He was a man with a flame in 
him, and he loved his trees. However, we can cut his produc- 
tion estimate in two, and double the cost of harvesting 4 and 
still have a sound business proposition and an astonishing pro- 
duction for chance seedling trees. And that is virtually all the 
labor there is to producing the acorn crop. 

The late R. O. Lombard, of Augusta, Georgia, had worked 
out a series of tree crops for an almost automatic production 
of pork. He experimented with oaks, deliberately planting 
them for acorn production. As a result of years of experimen- 
tation he was sure that on the sandy soils of the coast plain 
of Georgia the water oak was much more productive per acre 
of hog meat than was corn. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Raphael Zon, and other mem- 
bers of the staff of Bureau of Forestry, forest rangers gath- 
ered acorn-production data. They report yields of two bushels 
per tree, of two hundred pounds per tree, of three hundred 
pounds per tree, of four hundred pounds per tree, even of six 
hundred pounds of acorns per tree. These figures seem to 

It was told by landowners in Majorca that a woman could pick up 100 
liters of wild acorns in the woods and 200 liters under the grafted trees. 
"Forest Service 
District 5 

"First National Bank Building, 
San Francisco, California, 
January 27, 1914. 
The Forester, 

Washington, D. C. 
With reference to the Acting Assistant Forester's letter of September 23: 
I requested several Forest officers to take observations and collect as 



give a sense of verity to the claims of Messrs. Thorpe and 
Lombard quoted above and a sense of reasonableness to my 
own claim that an oak orchard of selected trees would be more 
productive than the existing agriculture of the American hills. 

much information as possible on the seed production of oaks last fall, and 
the following data have been submitted: 


Shasta Forest. Maximum seed production about 225 pounds per tree. A 
crop annually unless blighted, usually two crops in three seasons. Partial 
crop every year. 


California Forest. Two and one-half bushels of acorns were collected 
at Summit Valley, T. 24 N., R. 13 W., M.D.M., from a tree 30" D.B.H., 
60 feet high, and with a crown diameter of about 20 feet. This tree is at 
an elevation of 3,500 feet on a north exposure and receives considerable 
fog. Other trees of approximately the same size were estimated and show 
that two and one-half bushels is about the average crop. 

Trinity Forest. One tree at a high elevation produced thirty pounds of 
acorns, and another under very favorable conditions produced three hun- 
dred pounds. Seed is borne at irregular intervals, but there is at least a 
partial crop each year. 


Trinity Forest. One tree noted produced five hundred pounds of acorns, 
and another six hundred pounds. A third, rather small, produced two bush- 
els. Crops occur at intervals of from three to four years. Fruit is frequently 
killed by frosts. 


Sierra Forest. Maximum seed production about one hundred and seventy- 
five pounds per tree. Good crop one year out of three, and partial crop two 
years out of three 


California Forest. Observations on twelve trees, average D.B.H. 26", 
indicates that the maximum production is about two bushels per tree and 
that there is a crop every two years. 

"(Signed) C. S. SMITH, 
Acting District Forester." 

"Cochise Ranger Station, 
October 17, 1913. 
"Seflora Librado of Black Diamond, who is the widow of a Mexican 
who has cut wood in the Dragoons for the past thirty years and raised 
ten little Mexicans mostly on beyotes (acorns) and cactus (baked mes- 
cal), with an occasional piece of choice beef or venison as opportunity oc- 
curred, tells me that she has gathered two barley sacks of acorns from 

FIG. 67. Top. Life-size acorns (Quercus Insignis) from Orizaba, Mexico, the 
\argest known, 1%" x 1-3/16". Trees growing at Punta Gorda, Florida. (Cour- 
tesy Journal of Heredity.) — FIG. 68. Bottom. Muffins made of Missouri acorns. 
Said to be good. (Courtesy Missouri Botanical Gardens.) 



Even more astonishing is the report of a Michigan man 
traveling in Colombia, South America, telling of solid forests 
of oak in the mountains of that country, yielding acorns four 
times as large as those in Michigan (forty of them weighed a 

one tree on patented land at the Horse Ranch on the west slope in the fall 
of 1911. I know the tree. It is an emory oak with a trunk about twenty 
inches in diameter, and the top is sixty to seventy feet in diameter. She 
says that she has gathered acorns there several years and that the tree bears 
heavily when there are heavy snows in the winter preceding. There are 
very few acorns on it this year. The sacks mentioned above are the ordinary 
sacks that hold about sixty-five pounds of rolled barley. 

"(Signed) BIRTSAL W. JONES, Forest Ranger." 

"Apache, Arizona, October 21, 1913. 
The emory oak bears nearly every year; in fact there have been some 
acorns every year since I have been in this part of the country. Last year 
(1912) I saw trees that I would judge bore at least four bushels of acorns. 
"(Signed) MURRAY AVERETT, Forest Ranger." 

"Bonita Canyon, Arizona, Oct. 29, 1913. 
The quantity produced by one certain tree — the one standing in my 
yard, and under which my office tent is located — bears fruit nearly every 
year; a maximum crop it was considered to have had last year, 1912, would 
have amounted to at least one hundred pounds (100 lbs.). This year it 
produced not more than fifty pounds on account of the few very cold nights 
that froze many buds. The fruit is very sweet and relished by nearly all 
who have tasted it. 

"(Signed) NEIL ERICKSON, Forest Ranger." 

"University of California, Berkeley, August 4, 1912. 
"The valley oak, quercus lobata, yields, in the case of adult trees, about 
sixty to one hundred and twenty pounds of acorns per tree in the heavy 
acorn years. Every other year or every third year the yield is light or 

"The California black oak trees yield about twenty to one hundred 
pounds per tree. It is a species much more abundant in individuals than the 
valley oak. 

"The figures given above are simply estimates based upon my field ex- 

"(Signed) WILLIS L. JEPSON, Botanist." 

"University of California, Berkeley, California, August 22, 1912. 
"California black oak trees in the coast ranges near the coast will aver- 
age two to three feet in trunk diameter and are fifty to seventy feet high. 
The diameter of their crowns would be forty to eighty feet. Where they 
are fairly abundant in a pure stand, the trees will run five to ten trees to 
the acre. 

."A friend of mine thinks that two hundred or three hundred pounds 
might be a maximum yield of acorns. 

"(Signed) WILLIS L. JEPSON." 



pound) and lying so thick upon the ground that he thought he 
could pick fifty bushels in a day. 


The oak tree is productive in the quantity of fruit produced, 
and some species seem to display a well-nigh marvelous ability 
to produce heavily while still very small in size. Sometimes 

6 "U. S. Department of Agriculture, 
Bureau of Plant Industry, 
Washington, D. C, August 6, 1914. 
"A letter received from Mr. W. O. Wolcott, Bucaramanga, Colombia, 
says, 'By this mail I am mailing you one hundred acorns of a species of 
oak that grows in this state of Colombia. I traveled for two days on mule, 
coming from Ocana through these oaks all the way. You will notice these 
acorns are about four times the size of our acorns in the United States 
and as the trees are wonderful bearers these nuts should be of use as a 
stock and hog feed. The trees grow in the mountains at about four thou- 
sand to seven thousand feet altitude, and so close together that they grow 
to thirty to sixty feet high and not over four to six inches in diameter. 
Where the trees are in the open some of them are from ten to twenty 
inches in diameter. In many places the trees were not over two feet apart 
like the cedar swamps in Michigan when I was a boy. The natives fatten 
their hogs on the acorns. I could have gathered fifty bushels in a day, I 

should judge. . . .' 

"Very sincerely yours, 

"Agricultural Explorer in charge." 
In a letter addressed direct to me Mr. Wolcott said, "A man told me 
that wherever there is a forest of these the natives never clear off the forest, 
as the land is so poor it won't grow anything, and now I remember that all 
through that section what few ranches I saw were awful miserable shanty 
ranches and yet all of them had fat hogs and goats. I believe goats can 
be fattened on these acorns the same as hogs. 

"They tell me the acorns begin to fall in February. I gathered those sent 
on the second and third of June. Then there were piles of them in the 
very trail itself. They tell me they bear only once a year but every year." 

7 "Office of Experiment Stations, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 18, 1916. 
"... A small oak tree growing near Manhattan, Kansas, which is very 
peculiar, its small size being ordinarily less than two feet in height. I have 
taken specimens of an entire tree, shrub, or bush, which had acorns on 
it weighing in the aggregate more than the tree from which they came. 
"JOHN M. WESTGATE, Agronomist in charge." 

"Quercus primus pumila, chinquapin or dwarf chestnut oaks, one of 
the smallest of genus of two — four feet high. The acorns are of middle size 
and very sweet. Nature seems to have sought to compensate for the diminu- 
tive size of this shrub by the abundance of its fruit; the stem which is 



this fruit weighs more than the tree. Some dwarf forms bend 
over to the earth with the burden of their crop. 

Some of the oaks can produce their burdens from soil of 
the greatest variety and great sterility. 8 In this connection it 
should be remembered that the hopeless sand barrens of Long 

sometimes no bigger than a quill is stretched at full length upon the ground 
by the weight of its thickly clustering acorns. This shrub grows most 
abundantly in the northern and middle states of America and is usually 
found in particular districts of very poor soil where alone or mingled with 
the bear oak it sometimes covers tracts of more than one hundred acres in 
extent." Loudoun, Arboretum et Fruticetum, Vol. Ill, p. 1875. 

Britton, North American Trees, p. 327, emphasizes its great fruitfulness 
and wide distribution, Maine to Minnesota, North Carolina, Alabama, and 

Sargent, Silva, Vol. VIII, 59. "Q. prinoides, chinquapin oak. The acorns 
are produced in the greatest profusion, covering the branches in favorable 
seasons with abundant crops one-half to three-fourths of an inch in length 
and from one-third to nearly one-half an inch in breadth, with a sweet seed. 
Massachusetts to North Carolina, southeast Nebraska to Texas, rocky 
slopes and hillsides." 

"I would like to have the opportunity to demonstrate whether the Cali- 
fornia scrub oak, quercus dumosa Nuttall, could be made to yield a return 
such as you have described for quercus ilex. This little oak grows in a 
country that has no further value. It produces acorns freely and with great 
variation." (Letter — Wm. E. Lawrence, Oregon Agricultural College, Cor- 
vallis, September 17, 1916.) 

Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1889. "Q. catesbaei. The barren scrub oak. Carolina 
and Georgia. It grows on soils too meager to sustain any other vegetation, 
where the light movable sand is entirely destitute of vegetable mold. Old 
trees only productive and only a few handfuls." 

Quarterly Journal of Forestry, Vol. V, No. 2, p. 119-20, 122-23: "On get- 
ting out of the train at Holkam station, England, the first thing that at- 
tracts the eye of the visitor is an avenue of quercus ilex, stretching from 
the uplands through the marshes to the sand dunes, each tree standing 
quite isolated, exposed north and south, east and west to the bitter cold 
winds sweeping across the marshes and off the sea. 

"It can be seen growing on the sand dunes in pure sand, exposed to the 
sea winds, on the marshes in strong marsh clay, and on the upland; it 
seems to thrive equally well on gravel, chalk, or sand; good soil or bad 
makes little apparent difference to its well-being. 

"From its earliest stages it is not difficult to raise, but is rather slow 
of growth. Most years there is an abundant crop of acorns." 

Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1890. "Q. Nigra. Black Jack oak. Often called bar- 
rens oak in New Jersey and Maryland, grows in forests impoverished by 
fire and cattle and on sandy soil. Baltimore to North Carolina. It is the 
chief tree of these soils, which are too poor for cropping. Few handfuls of 
large acorns. It takes abandoned fields." 





Island, New Jersey, North Carolina, and of the Appalachian 
summits are shunned by the farmer as though they were the 
Sahara Desert, yet these sand barrens are often productive of 
many acorns — good carbohydrate nutriment. 


It is not unnatural that the oak tree should render its great- 
est service to commercial agriculture in the modern world 
through the cork oak, the species which has the greatest num- 
ber and variety of products. 

The oak tree is the source of one of the chief exports and 
two of the important industries of Portugal. If I wanted to se- 
cure permanent and comfortable financial ease from agricul- 
tural land, few more secure bases need be sought than the un- 
disturbed possession of a large tract of Portuguese land hav- 
ing a good stand of cork-oak trees (quercus suber) and ever- 
green-oak trees (quercus ilex). If the stand of trees were good, 
it would make little difference even if the land happened to be 
rough untillable hillsides. Such land would still yield its crops 
of cork and pork (the pork made of acorns). The virtues of 
the Portuguese cork forests are quadruple, and the forests are 
almost perpetual if given a little intelligent care. 

With reasonable care, which consists of occasional cutting- 
out of an undergrowth of bushes inedible to the goat, and 
occasional thinnings, the forest will live and reproduce itself 
for centuries and yield four kinds of income. The trees yield 
best of cork and acorns when the stand is not thick enough 
for the trees to crowd each other. Thinning to attain this 
end permits some forage for sheep and goats to grow beneath 
the trees. It is the common expectation that the pasturage 
income in a proper oak forest will pay for the labor of grub- 
bing bushes, which, aside from fire protection, is the only 
maintenance charge. That leaves the other three sources of 
income — wood, cork, and pork — to offset interest and taxes 
and to make profit. The landlord's task is easy, as the pasture 



is rented by the tract, the cork is sold to contractors by the 
ton, the wood by the cubic meter, and the hog pasture on 
some lump-sum arrangement. Absentee ownership could 
scarcely be more providentially arranged. If you wish to see 
the Iberian owners of cork estates, go to Lisbon, Madrid, or 

Every nine or ten, or eleven or twelve years, according to 
locality, the cork bark is stripped. An acre with a full stand 
of young trees should have seventy trees yielding fifteen kilo- 
grams per tree, or 2,300 pounds 9 per acre per stripping. 

As the trees grow older and are thinned out to prevent 
crowding, the increased yield per tree keeps the cork output 
up to the average which, with care, can be maintained in- 
definitely at over a ton per acre per stripping. Cork is now 
worth about seventy-five dollars per ton. When the trees come 
down, they make the precious charcoal for the domestic fires 
beside which the Portuguese nation shivers in winters while it 
cooks its simple meals. In a properly cared- for forest every 
old cork tree has beneath its branches several half-starved 
understudies all leading a submerged life until it comes their 
turn to have space in which to spread. 

I have seen a large cork tree, fifteen feet in girth and with 
a reach of fifty-six feet, that had yielded 1,980 pounds of 
cork at a stripping. An acre will easily hold eleven such trees, 
and I am told by competent authority" that there are many 

9 Consul General Lowrie at Lisbon reported (1913) the annual average 
cork production of the 900,000 acres of Portuguese cork forests was 240 
kilos per hectare, 214 pounds per acre per year. 

The average annual yield of cork per acre in Portugal is put at 275 
pounds per acre by the Quarterly Journal of Forestry, Vol. VII, No. 1, 

10 Mr. John L. Wilson, an Englishman and educated as an engineer and 
for many years managing director of Bucknall Brothers, Lisbon, English 
owners of cork estates, cork merchants and manufacturers, reports one par- 
ticular cork oak, the trunk twenty-four feet in circumference, seventy-two 
foot spread, which yielded at one cutting 2,112 pounds of cork; twelve 
years previously 2,310 pounds of cork, giving this tree an income value at 
that time (1913) of about one pound sterling per year from cork alone. 



such acres in Portugal. It is an interesting and peculiar fact 
that the poorer the land the better the cork. This superior 
quality results from a finer texture due to slower growth. 11 
Therefore, some fine cork forests are on sandy or stony land, 
which in any other country would be called "barrens" and 
would find its highest productivity by growing a pine forest. 
In some districts the trees are made the sole basis of estimat- 
ing the value of the land on which they stand. Near Evora, in 
south-central Portugal, the method of calculating the value 
of a cork forest is as follows: The twenty-year yield of cork 
(two stoppings) is taken as the basis. The buyer pays 600 
to 650 reis (1913) (1,000 reis=$1.08) per arroba (33 pounds) 
of cork capacity. Thus a good acre of cork trees would bring 
$125 or more, and the man who sells throws in the land. 

English owners of cork estates in Portugal estimate that 
acorns alone produce from a half to two-thirds of the total 
pork crop of that country. 12 

sq. miles 


Portugal 35 

Virginia 40 



No. of swine 

about one 
to % 

* Yearbook, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

The Portuguese hog leads a lean and hungry life for a year 
and a half or two years, and then comes an orgy during which 
he eats acorns all day and sleeps on them at night, as he lives 
in the open beneath the trees. In three months he doubles 
or triples his weight and passes on to the ceremonies at the 
abattoir. 18 

11 So pronounced is this influence of slow growth that cultivation of cork 
oak trees often injures the quality of cork. 

12 The Quarterly Journal of Forestry, Vol. VII, No. I, p. 37, estimated 
the annual acorn consumption of the Portuguese pig at 200,000 tons. This 
figure is interesting when compared with the one million tons of corn pro- 
duced in the state of Virginia by cultivating 1,300,000 acres to its serious 
injury by washing away of soil. 

18 Separate tracts are fenced off for the winter food of hogs that are to 
be kept until the next year. 



Careful experiment in central Portugal has shown that 5.3 
liters ' 4 of acorns will make one pound of pork. Thirty-five 
and one-fourth liters make a bushel. Therefore, a bushel makes 
6.6 pounds of pork. 

As the acorn crop is not under much control of man, does 
not come regularly, and above all is not harvested and 
measured, it is difficult to make an exact approximation of pigs 
and acorns. This difficulty is met by the organization of fort- 
nightly markets in the villages of the cork regions where pigs 
in any and all stages of fatness and leanness are bought and 
sold at any and all times. Two weeks before the pig is com- 
pletely fatted, he may be sold by the man who has a shortage 
of acorns to the man who has a surplus. In estimating the 
number of pigs that he should buy, the Iberian oak tree farmer 
walks through his forest scanning the trees and noting the 
number of acorns lying on the ground. Every time he sees the 
fattening for one more pig, he puts another acorn into his 

On the unfenced acres of a cork estate two kinds of herders 
are daily abroad; the swineherd, whose wards eat grass and 
acorns, and the shepherd, whose sheep and goats browse the 
bushes and grass and furnish wool and milk — the fifth and 
sixth products of the cork forest. 

As I rode through one of these estates on an April day, I 
came upon a long lane full of sheep, seven hundred of them, 
crowded solidly between close fences. Two shepherds were 
busy at their regular afternoon job of milking the sheep. 
They started at one end of the long and motley mass and 
worked their way through it. One presided over the milk 
bucket, the other caught a ewe, backed her up to the bucket, 
and held her while the milker extracted a few spoonfuls of 

14 These figures were given me by Mr. John L. Wilson, mentioned above. 
An American finding is as follows: Mr. G. T. McNess, Superintendent, 
Nacodoches, Texas, Sub-experiment station said (letter, Feb. 11, 1914) to 
W. J. Spillman, of U. S. Department of Agriculture, "One gallon of acorns 
is equal to ten good ears of corn." 



rich milk, after which the ewe was pushed aside to join the 
growing mass of the recently milked. That evening at the 
house of Joao Dias, estate foreman, I was offered rich cheese 
of sheep's milk, but my previously good appetite for it was 
diminished by my memory of the milking in the lane. 

The bark of the evergreen-oak (quercus ilex) is of no value, 
but the tree yields more acorns than the cork oak. No Por- 
tuguese will cut down the one tree to make room for the 
other, so absolutely alike does he value the trees. Often the 
two species are mixed indiscriminately in the same tract, but 
in some localities the ilex forests are almost pure stand and 
are cared for exactly as are the cork forests. At Evora in south 
central Portugal — a locality famed for its pork production — 
Mr. Estevao Oliveira Fernandes, a graduate of a German 
engineering school, told me that the local estimate of pro- 
duction for a ten-year period was as follows: for a cork forest 
34 kilos of pork per hectare (30 pounds per acre) and for an 
ilex forest, 68 kilos per hectare (60 pounds per acre). Com- 
pare these with pasture yields (on page 268) and then con- 
sider the low rainfall and dry summer of Portugal, and its 
age-long exposure to a robber agriculture, and the oak tree 
stands forth as a crop plant most worthy of consideration. 


In some sections of Spain and Portugal the young ilex trees 
are allowed to grow where they have by chance sprung up in 
the fields. Around and under the trees the machineless culti- 
vation of wheat and beans, barley and hay, goes on just the 
same. This combination of trees and crops gives a beautiful 
parklike landscape. The cultivation helps the oaks to make 
acorns, and after the grain and other crops are harvested, the 
hogs are turned in to gather the mast crop. 

On the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in Spain, a few miles 
south of Granada, I saw the ilex rendering its supreme serv- 



ice — the oaks and their under-thicket holding the earth for 
man as no other crop could have done and at the same time 
giving him a living. In this locality the formation was uncon- 
solidated clay and gravels of such depth that bed rock was 
nowhere in sight. The slopes and height were such that the 
term mountain would be applied, perhaps even by the Swiss. 
On one of these slopes I examined an ilex orchard (or forest) 
that was giving a fair return as part of a farm. A part of this 
orchard was so steep as to be very difficult of ascent. When the 
tenant told me he let his hogs run there, I asked him how he 
kept them from falling out into the stream below. 

"Oh," he said, "I don't let the big fat ones come here. I 
am afraid they would fall. I bring only the little ones into 
this part." 

A mile away, on a less steep part of the same slope, for 
centuries men had been supporting themselves by the agricul- 
ture of the plow, and nature had shown her resentment of 
this act of violence. In some places from half to three-fourths 
of the original land surface was gone, through the work of 
gullies that had become from fifty to two hundred feet deep. 
"After man the desert" was here demonstrated. Of the two 
slopes the ilex slope was much the more productive. It had 
been saved from the plow only by being so steep that it could 
tempt no plowman. 

Apparently there is no reason except inertia why we should 
not in time have an extensive cork industry in the United 
States. The tree is remarkable in its ability to survive both 
the drought of California and the humidity of the Cotton 
Belt. 15 As a result of sporadic seed introduction, there are 
excellent cork trees scattered in many parts of California. 
There are good specimens in Byronville, Georgia; Atlanta, 

15 Letter, Raphael Zon, Chief of Forestry Division, Bureau of Forestry, 
Washington, D. C, dated September 28, 1915, and from George B. Sud- 
worth, Dendrologist, U. S. Bureau of Forestry, September 25, 1921. 


Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; in Florida; and in 


The excellence of the cork produced on the humid Mediter- 
ranean shores near the base of the Pyrenees in Spain gives 
further evidence of the apparent and rather surprising ability 
of these trees to thrive in the heat and humidity of the 
American Cotton Belt, as well as in the dry summer climate 
of California. 


In America our frontier farmer ancestors fed themselves 
in part for generations on mast- (chiefly acorn-) fattened pork, 
and the raccoon, opossum, and bear also subsisted mainly on 
the acorn in the season of autumn fattening. Well fattened on 
acorns the bear had nothing to do, so he hibernated till spring, 
thereby lengthening the season of acorn service. Yet no agri- 
culturalist seems to have applied constructive imagination to 
the very suggestive facts which have been thrusting them- 
selves upon our attention over hundreds of thousands of 
square miles for several generations. Some agriculturists, 
however, are beginning to appreciate the possibilities of this 
neglected field. For example, Professor H. Ness, Chief Horti- 
culturist, Texas Experiment Station, College Station, Texas, 
has begun to experiment with hybridizing the oak, and he 
thinks that experiments with feeding mast might "give results 
which would be of the greatest value to the farmers through- 
out our southern region." In the explanation of this belief he 

I 8 


16 See American Forester, January, 1921, article by George N. Lamb; 
Technical World, September, 1911, p. 103; Hardwood Record, December 

25, 1912, p. 29. 

17 "Battle Creek, Michigan, April 6, 1927. 
"My father was a pioneer in this country nearly one hundred years ago, 
and I understood from him and other pioneers that acorns constituted a 
considerable part of the sustenance of the hogs who found their living ex- 
clusively in the forests. These hogs were nearly as wild as wild bulls. 

18 Letters of May 28, 1913, and April 18, 1923. 



"I wish to say that throughout the forest region of Texas 
which constitutes the eastern part of the state, the acorns 
furnish a very important part of the hog feed. As to the 
classes of this feed, there are two: namely, (1) from the white 
oaks, that is the oaks that mature this fruit in one year and 
furnish what people call 'sweet mast,' which is considered 
equal to the best of our cultivated grains as hog food. Among 
the oaks of this kind may be mentioned the post oak 
(quercus minor) because of its number and great fertility, 
and the white oak proper (quercus alba) because of the ex- 
cellent quality and size of the acorns, as well as their abun- 
dance. (2) The second class is furnished by the black oaks, 
(q. trilobata, rubra, and marylandica) or those that mature 
the acorns in the second year from flowering. This is called 
the 'bitter mast.' It is very abundant, but is considered in- 
ferior because it gives inferior meat and lard of a dark color. 

"These five trees, when full grown, are all heavy yielders 
of acorns. Those (the white oaks) that produce what is called 
the 'sweet mast' are especially abundant yielders in very 
nutritive food for hogs. Where the trees are properly thinned 
so as to develop freely and hence bear freely, an acre of land 
properly set with either the white oak or the post oak is 
almost equal to an acre of corn. The trouble in these forests 
is that the trees are prevented from producing fruit by being 
densely crowded. Many of them, therefore, develop no fruit 
at all, but act as a hindrance to others that are larger and 
would develop more fruit. 

"There is no attempt made to manage the oak forest for 
this purpose, although management to that end would be 
very effective in increasing the amount of hog feed, and would 
consist simply of thinning the trees to a proper stand for 
bearing. This could be done without decreasing the amount 
of wood produced, because each tree, if given a larger space, 
would not only produce a larger crop of fruit, but would grow 
to a larger size. 



"In the eastern part of Texas, or throughout that large 
forest region east of the Trinity River, I wish to say that the 
possibility by proper forest management of obtaining large 
quantities of feed for hogs is very great, and unappreciated by 
the people. It is merely incidentally taken advantage of, a 
good deal of the forest being unfenced and proper thinning 
and care of the trees utterly unknown. 

"The oaks of that region can easily furnish in the fall and 
throughout most of the winter the major part of the large 
amount of food necessary for raising and fattening hogs. 

"Proper thinning and judicious selection of good bearing 
oak trees would be a measure of high economic importance. 
The various individuals of the same species vary very much 
both in the amount of production and in size of the fruits. 
In many cases heavy-bearing trees can be selected, and the 
others of lesser value for the purpose might be cut out. 

"It is not only hogs that thrive and fatten on the 'mast' 
of the forest, but also goats. During the early part of the 
season they feed on the underbrush and sprouts from the 
stumps of trees, and when fall comes they fatten readily on 
the acorns and other fruits. My personal experience is that 
in east Texas hogs can be raised cheaper than anywhere else, 
provided advantage is taken of the forest. It also happens 
that much of the land covered with forest is of such nature 
that it cannot be readily put into cultivation, owing to the 
unevenness of the ground in some cases; to poor drainage in 

John C. Whitten, long horticulturist of Missouri, in discuss- 
ing Missouri acorn pork production (see pages 143-144) con- 
cluded as follows: 

"I am convinced of this, however, that a considerable por- 
tion of the hilly, not easily tillable, regions of this state may 
more profitably be left in woods to produce hog feed than 
cleared off for other purposes." 

And all of this on the basis of wild seedling trees unim- 



proved by selection, by breeding, or by grafting. What possi- 
bilities are yet in store if and when we apply known and 
proved methods of scientific horticulture? 

Our forests are steadily being reduced in area and thinned 
out by the removal of good timber trees, but there still con- 
tinues an amount of mast utilization that will probably be a 
surprise to many. It is still common in Texas and Minne- 

19 "Jena, Louisiana, April 14, 1923. 
"The locust, walnut, and hickory are found almost altogether in the 
lower lands that are subject to overflow. These trees there together with 
the oaks supply the almost entire feed for the hogs for the people who live 
in or near this section of the country. 

"L. O. SUMMALL, County Agent." 

"Maryland State Board of Forestry, May 29, 1913. 
"There are many groves of oak trees in the state that have a recognized 
value for producing food for hogs, and it is a common practice for many 
people to gather acorns for feeding to hogs. The honey locust and mulberry 
are likewise utilized for this purpose. 

"F. W. BESLEY, State Forester." 

"West Virginia University, June 20, 1916. 
"In this state, where more than half of the farm land is in rough 
pasture land and forest that is only partially cleared, the trees furnish a 
considerable amount of forage for farm animals. There is no way of 
knowing the amount of forage contributed by the trees growing on the 
land, but the total amount of meat produced each year by this means must 
be quite large. In some counties there are several hundred hogs fattened 
each year by this means. 


"Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Lexington, Kentucky, September 8, 1916. 
"Quite a large number of hogs are annually fattened on acorns in this 
state, especially in the mountain regions. A number of these hogs find their 
way into the Blue Grass region where they are finished on corn, mainly 
for the purpose of hardening the fat. Lard of the acorn-fed hog will not, 
of course, congeal. 

"E. S. GOOD, Head of Department." 

"University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., May 23, 1913. 
"In the southern half of the state, embracing the Ozark region which 
is more hilly, uneven, and has a larger proportion of its area in wood- 
lands, many of the farmers feed their hogs entirely throughout the year on 
the 'mast' that grows in the woods. Some of them fatten the hogs to 
maturity without additional feeding of corn or grain. Pretty nearly all 
the hogs of south Missouri get at least a part of their feed in this way. 
I have no actual data on the subject but in my judgment fully half the 




food supply of the hogs in south Missouri is this native mast. Professor 
Chandler, one of my colleagues in this department, who grew up in south 
Missouri, estimates (I did not express my opinion in order to prejudice his 
own) that fifteen per cent, of the pork production in the southern half of 
the state is produced from native products of the woods. 

"J. C. WHITTEN, Horticulturist." 

"Covering the greater part of southern Missouri, Arkansas, and the 
eastern third of Oklahoma are low-lying hills, better known as the Ozark 
Mountains. This region is naturally a timbered country where black and 
shellbark hickory, blackjack, red, post, and white oak, and walnut grow 
abundantly. These trees never fail to produce part of a crop of 'mast' 
and usually are heavily loaded with nuts, especially in the higher parts 
not so readily affected by the late frosts, which in the low regions kill the 
blossoms of the young fruit. From a rough estimate the bulk of the whole 
crop will run about ninety per cent, acorns of the different varieties. 

"The general practice in the case of the hogs is to train them to come 
to the barnyard once or twice a week for corn to keep them tame and 
to enable the rightful owner to mark his pigs." 

Jap clover Red clover Cowpeas 

Acorns Cornmeal (hay) (hay) (shelled) 

per cent. per cent. per cent. per cent. per cent. 

Water 55.3 15.0 11.0 15.3 14.6 

Protein 2.5 9.2 13.8 12.3 20.5 

Carbohydrate .. 34.8 68.7 39.0 38.1 56.3 

Fat 1.9 3.8 3.7 3.3 1.5 

Ash 1.0 1.4 8.5 6.2 3.2 

(The Country Gentleman, December 13, 1913, p. 1821, "Ozark Nut-fed 

Pork," by J. C. Holmes.) 

This table of food values submitted by Mr. Holmes shows the vital neces- 
sity of some protein food to make a balanced ration. This is furnished by 
wild lespedeza (Japanese clover). 

Another form of acorn analysis is as follows, furnished by S. S. Buckley, 
Associate Animal Husbandman acting in charge, Swine Investigations, 
U. S. Department of Agriculture and sent to me by Governor L. Hardman, 
of Georgia. 

The digestible nutrients may be seen from the following analyses: 

kernel and shell Acorn kernel 

Total dry matter in 100 lbs 72.1 65.6 

Digestible crude protein in 100 lbs 2.3 2.9 

Digestible carbohydrates in 100 lbs 36.2 27.3 

Digestible fat in 100 lbs 3.8 4.7 

"Fruitville Farms and Villages, 
Fruitville, Missouri, October 7, 1913. 
"At the time I purchased my lands here (10,000 acres) they were un- 
fenced, and a large number of hogs ran in the oak forests. I estimate that 
the first year that I owned the property my neighbors sold $25,000 worth 



of hogs, the growing and fattening of which had not cost them a cent — 
they having eaten acorns on my lands. 

"JAY L. TORREY, Proprietor." 

"Muscatine, Iowa. 
"I have seen farmers in Keokuk and Iowa Counties of this state gather 
acorns and feed them to hogs. I have also known of farmers who de- 
pended upon acorns, pig nuts, and shagbark hickory for partially fattening 
their hogs in the fall. It was usually done by turning the hogs out in the 
timber and allowing them to roam. 

"The red hickory or pig nut is quite prominent and is an annual and 
abundant bearer of nuts that are relished by hogs. 

"(Signed) K. A. KIRKPATRICK, 

County Agricultural Agent." 

"Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture, 
and Home Economics, Minnesota. 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 17, 1923. 
"Farmers in those counties usually feed the acorns by running the hogs 
in woods pastures. The lots have hog-tight fences, or in some cases the 
whole farm is fenced hog-tight. 

"I have known personally of a few persons who have raked them up 
with rakes and hauled them to hogs that were fed in closed pens. How- 
ever, the former is the more general practice. 

"As to their feeding value in comparison with corn, I would not be able 
to state except in a general way. They seem to give very good results in 
fattening or finishing hogs that were sold in the fall. The acorn pastures 
feed the hogs from the time the acorns begin to drop about the 1st of 
September until around November 1, when a short feed of four or five 
weeks on corn finished the hogs for market. 

"K. A. KIRKPATRICK, County Agricultural Agent." 

"Office of State Forester, Colorado Agricultural College, 
Fort Collins, Colorado, June 20, 1916. 
"In southwestern Colorado, I have seen not a few farmers who counted 
considerably on the acorn crop of the scrub oak, quercus gambellii and 
quercus undulata, to fatten hogs, which grazed freely through the 'oak 
brush' during the fall. 

"W. J. MORRELL, State Forester." 

"Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home 
Economics, Logan, Utah, June 6, 1923. 
"Find that in several sections acorns are used extensively in feeding hogs. 
Hogs are ranged on the mountains and hills, where our scrub oak grows 
profusely, and usually bearing a heavy crop of acorns. The hogs are car- 
ried through on the acorns and available grass until fattening time, when 
usually a small ration of grain is added. 

"Logan, Utah, July 26, 1923. 
"This practice is carried on principally in Washington, Iron, and Beaver 
Counties. A number of other counties range hogs in the oak-covered hills 
to some extent. Some of the farmers feed their hogs nothing except the 
grass and acorns which they are able to forage. 

"R. J. EVANS, Director, Extension Service." 



"Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home 
Economics, Reserve, New Mexico, April 30, 1923. 
"In October, 1921, we found the white oaks in the county had a big crop 
of acorns, and we turned our young pigs out weighing about thirty pounds, 
The pigs were sold in January, February, and March, 1922, weighing about 
150 pounds dressed, and the pork was reasonably hard and firm. 

"In Catron County on the west side of the continental divide, the live 
oak is by far the greater part of the range, on which the cattle winter. 
The live oak has a more regular crop of acorns, which are used by swine 
as well as by the cattle, and the leaves of which form almost the entire 
roughage, during the winter months, for many thousands of cattle, which 
must keep them alive until the perennial range plants start in the spring, 
and the grass in the summer. 

"JOHN G. KOOGLER, County Agent." 

"We have a great many oak trees, especially of the scrub oak variety, 
all through the mountains in the state, and the acorns from these furnish 
a great deal of food for hogs. Many ranchers throughout New Mexico who 
live in the mountains raise hogs and fatten them exclusively on acorns, 
mesquite, beans, and so on. 

"H. H. SIMPSON, New Mexico College of 
Agriculture, June 13, 1913." 

"Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home 
Economics, Willcox, Arizona, April 9, 1923. 
"Acorns appear in great abundance in the mountainous sections and have 
attracted large flocks of parrots from Mexico into the Chiricauhau moun- 
tains in this county when the supply in Mexico was diminished by a semi- 
drought. These acorns are also greatly relished by hogs, which are turned 
loose in the timber after the acorns begin to fall. 

"C. R. ADAMSON, County Agricultural Agent." 

"University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment 
Station, Tucson, Arizona. 
"I have occasionally seen Indians driving into Tucson with several sacks 
of these nuts, acorns of quercus emoryii, which they had gathered from 
under trees in our mountain canyons. These nuts are purchased from the 
Chinese stores in Tucson by Mexicans and Indians throughout the fall and 
winter seasons in small lots as a food, and they are considered quite a 
delicacy with the Indians and Mexicans. 

"J. J. THORNBER, Botanist." 

"University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment 
Station, Tucson, Arizona, September 4, 1913. 
"I will state that perhaps without exception the one known as Emory's 
oak or quercus emoryii yields more abundantly than any other oak tree. 
I have seen Indians gather as much as two or three gunny sacks full of 
acorns from a single large tree. The acorns of this particular oak are 
sweet and very agreeable to the taste; and if I am not mistaken, some of 
them find their way to the market. We have other good species of oak trees 
that produce heavily, among which are the Arizona oak and the oblong-leaf 



oak. The acorns of this latter, however, are bitter to the taste, though they 
are excellent hog feed. 

"J. J. THORNBER, Botanist." 

Speaking of mountain land near the divide between Eel and Sacramento 
Rivers in Northern California, Will C. Barnes in a personal interview and 
in an article in Breeder's Gazette for May 29, 1912, said, "For forty miles 
we worked our way upward through the brush-covered foothills into the 
zone of cedar and pinon, and finally reached the great forest of yellow and 
sugar pine and firs. . . . This is sheep and cattle country, but the most 
profitable animal these men are raising is the hog. There are vast ranges 
of oaks all over the mountains and the hogs which run at large the year 
round get their living entirely on the acorns and other feed which they 
find. Last year was an especially fine one for acorns, and we saw them 
under trees where they lay thick on the ground to the depth of an inch. 
Some of the oaks had very long acorns, almost two inches in length, and 
there was a keen rivalry for them between the hogs and the Indians. Sacked 
and packed on their ponies to the settlements below, the acorns were bring- 
ing the Indians from 50 to 75 cents per bushel for hog feed where the 
ranches were not near the forest. It was no trouble at all to gather from 
a peck to a bushel of acorns from beneath a good tree. Indians just scooped 
them up in armfuls. Everything in the line of live stock seemed to be fond 
of acorns. One saw the horses and cattle rooting among the leaves under 
the great trees for them, and at times the crunching of them in their 
teeth sounded like a lot of Missouri hogs eating corn. 

"I stopped to photograph a band of fine Shropshire ewes under an oak, 
all hunting for the toothsome acorns." 

If acorns should be on 100 square feet of ground to an average depth 
of one-half inch, the amount would be more than three bushels. 
A newspaper report from California said: 

"Los MOLINOS, CAL., Sept. 9 — The crop of acorns is unusually abundant, 
both in the valley and the foothills. Many farmers are beginning to gather 
them for hogs. By September 10 or 15 the ground under many oaks will 
be covered with acorns. 

"Women and children take an active part in this work. Often one family 
will gather ten to fifteen bushels a day. The deer come down from the 
mountains during the latter part of October, and it is expected the venison 
taken this season will be of unusual quality, as the deer live largely on 
acorns for several weeks. 

"According to the Indian's theory this will be a hard winter. There are 
seven different kinds of oak in the Sacramento Valley, but only three varie- 
ties produce acorns to a profitable extent." 

"Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home 

Economics, Berkeley, California, July 13, 1927. 

"The clipping (above) states a fact to be found in California during 

the fall months, usually in September. Some years the crop of acorns is 

quite large and they are gathered for the feeding of stock, particularly 

hogs. However, the usual custom is to turn the hogs into the pasture land 




sota, in Appalachia and California, and it would doubtless be 
greater than it is but for the fact that the flesh of the acorn- 
fed hog is soft. 


In America acorn-fed hogs bring lower prices in the whole- 
sale market because they have soft flesh. Is this a permanent 
handicap? 20 I doubt it if the problem is studied in a scien- 
tific way. In the first place, acorn-fed pork has fine (perhaps 
finer) flavor. "For local consumption the meat (acorn-fed 
hogs) is satisfactory." 2I If the lard is liquid instead of solid, 
what is the difference? One kind may go into a can while the 
other goes into a carton. Its meat drips; if so the drip is 
good lard. Perhaps it needs to be subjected to some process 
such as 120° F. for a stated period to force and finish the 
dripping. This reduction of the fat might make bacon better. 

where the oaks are growing and allow them to pick up the acorns them- 

"(Signed) C. F. ELWOOD." 

20 It is certainly no handicap to animals on a maintenance ration. Ex- 
periments in feeding may evolve a satisfactory combination of foods to 
avoid softness. Some Ozark farmers give other feeds to hogs in combina- 
tion with acorns. The following results have been reported: 

"It might be stated his hogs would not eat corn in quantity until the 
acorns were gone. 

"The acorn has the reputation of making soft meat. It produces in the 
fat a large percentage of low-melting oils, causing a shortage of stearin 
or body in the lard. It is a proved fact, however, that by adding supplements 
and finishing on corn, after the bulk of the acorns is gone, the flesh hardens 
so that the packers do not object at all to the quality of the meat produced." 
(J. C. Holmes, The Country Gentleman, Dec. 13, 1913, p. 1822.) 

21 "There are a few hogs slaughtered in the smaller towns and on the 
ranches for local consumption. These animals are for the most part eaten 
within a short time, very little of the pork and meat being pickled or 
salted, and the animals which are used for local consumption in the region 
seem to be satisfactory to the consumers even though they are acorn-fed. 
I believe that the packers desire as uniform a grade of meat and pork 
as is possible to secure, and the acorn-fed hogs would give a different 
quality and softer pork than the grain-fed animals. This I believe is the 
reason that the packers discriminate against the acorn-fed hogs." (C. F. 
Elwood, Director, Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home 
Economics, Berkeley, California, letter, August 1, 1927.) 




We probably need to have packing plant processes adjusted 
to the soft-meat hog. We probably need more of this kind of 

The present discounting of the acorn-fed hog may be 
largely a matter of psychology of the market. During the meat 
shortage of the World War reindeer meat was brought forward 
to be used in place of beef. It was said to be as good, but 
the psychology of the process was that it was a substitute. 
This strange substitute sold at a discount in comparison to 
beef. It was withdrawn from the market, advertised a little, 
and sold as a novelty in exclusive clubs at a high price, 
which it continues to bring. Acorn -fed pork properly cured 
and properly sold might have a similar experience. 


The question of breeding better oak trees is presented in 
the next chapter. However, I may point out here that it looks 
reasonable to expect scientific work to produce great improve- 
ment in acorns, improvement similar to that which has oc- 
curred in Persian walnut (page 164), chestnut, and nearly 
every crop grown in our gardens and orchards. 

There seems to be no reason why acorn meal" should not 
be a food of unsurpassed excellence for cows, stock hogs, all 
work animals, and probably for beef cattle. 

22 If an acorn meal industry were established and a person (man, woman, 
or child in early teens) could pick up 500 pounds of acorns in a day (foot- 
note, page 129), it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Appalachian 
and Ozark Mountain regions of the United States could enter upon a new 
era of prosperity. Apparently present prices for cow feed would enable 
a good acorn crop to double the wages that thousands of American moun- 
taineers now receive. 






As to the oaks, the primary object of this book is to call 
attention to the excellence of acorns as a farm crop producing 
forage for pigs, sheep, goats, cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, 
ducks, and pigeons. Yet any balanced presentation of the 
economics of the acorn must point out its great nutritive value 
and its great use as human food. 1 It may be possible that the 
human race has eaten more of acorns than it has of wheat, 
for wheat is the food of only one of the four large masses of 
humans, the European-North American group. The other 
three groups, the Chinese-Japanese, the Indian (Asiatic), and 
the tropical peoples, pay small attention to wheat; hundreds 
of millions of their people have never heard of it. Meanwhile 
those humans (and possibly pre-humans) who dwelt in or near 
the oak forests in the middle latitudes — Japan, China, Him- 
alaya Mountains, West Asia, Europe, North America — have 
probably lived in part on acorns for unknown hundreds of 
centuries, possibly for thousands of centuries. 

It is almost certain that wheat has been of important use 
only in the era of man's agriculture, while the acorn was 
almost surely of importance during that very, very long period 
when man was only a food gatherer. (See Fig. 69.) 

1 Persons interested in the possibilities of the oak will probably be sur- 
prised at a collection of thirty-eight references to edible acorns in many 
parts of the world published by Dr. Robert T. Morris, in the 1927 Proceed- 
ings of the Northern Nut Growers' Association, H. D. Spencer, secretary, 
Decatur, 111. 




The excellence of acorns as food for man was forcibly called 
to our attention during the food hysteria of the World War 
by the well-known scientist, Mr. C. Hart Merriam.* He pointed 
out that for an unknown length of time acorn bread had been 
the staff of life 3 for the Indians from Oregon to Mexico 
except those in the desert; that there were 300,000 of these 
Indians in California when it was discovered by the white 
man, and that "acorns of several species were eaten by vari- 
ous eastern tribes from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico." 


Mr. Merriam stated in his article in the National Geo- 
graphic that John Muir often carried the hard dry bread of 
the Indians during his arduous tramps in the mountains of 
California and deemed it the most complete strength-giving 
food he had ever used. Merriam gave the following analysis 
of California acorn and rival foods: 

Wheat Leached Cal. valley white 



























. . . 74.4 





... 1.0 





" See National Geographic Magazine, August, 1918. 

3 Mr. George B. Sudworth, Dendrologist of the United States Forest 
Service, told me (1909) that an Indian tribe in western Nevada made an 
annual autumn excursion over the Sierras into California. There they 
busied themselves in the national forests gathering acorns and carrying 
them out to the trails in sacks. Thence they were packed or hauled over 
the mountains to the tribal home, and the bread supply for a year was se- 
cure. It was a part of the squaws' daily routine to pound up a portion of 
acorn meal and soak it in water that the tannin might be dissolved and 
the bitter meal made sweet. The coarse, wet farinaceous mass that re- 
mained was the oatmeal, shredded wheat biscuit, cornmeal mush, pone, 
wheat flour, potatoes, bananas, or boiled rice for the family. 

* California black oak, kept 12 years. 



In looking at this table please note the very high percentage 
of fat 5 which makes it as nutritious as richly buttered bread. 
Dr. Merriam pointed out that one part of acorn and four 
parts of corn or wheat make palatable bread and muffins, 
adding to the cereal the value of a fat nut product. No wonder 
the Digger Indians who feed upon acorn trees are reported 
as being sleek, fat, and in good order. 

The Missouri Botanical Gardens, one of the great institu- 
tions of the world for studying trees, is working on the prob- 
lem of tree utility. It recently published a bulletin (1924) 
showing photographs (see Figs. 68 and 70) of acorns and muf- 
fins made from them. It says: 

"With a modern kitchen equipment acorn meal can easily 
be prepared at home. After husking the acorns they should 
be ground in a hand-grist mill or food-chopper. The meal is 
then mixed with hot water and poured into a jelly bag. 6 The 
bitter tannin, being soluble, will be taken out by the water, 
but sometimes a second or even third washing may be neces- 
sary. After washing, the wet meal is spread out to dry and is 
then parched in an oven. If it has caked badly, it should be 
run through the mill again before using. 

"In cooking acorn meal may be used in the same way as 
cornmeal. Its greatest fault is its color, muffins made from it 

5 Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1919. The acorns of q. virens, the green or live 
oak, were used by Indians to thicken their venison soups and to express an 
oil which was very much like the oil of sweet almonds. 

C. S. Sargent, Silva of North America, Vol. VIII, p. 19, quotes Parkin- 
son, 1640, first describer of the white oak. "The akorne likeweise is not only 
sweeter then others but boyling it long it giveth an oyle which they keepe 
to supple their joynts." 

6 This simple process of straining by the jelly bag seems to be a good 
substitute for a much more cumbersome method used by original Americans 
still in use by the Klickitat Indians of the Pacific coast and described by 
this same Missouri bulletin. 

"The acorns are bitter and cannot be eaten in their natural state. When 
properly cooked and prepared they are palatable. The first hull is cracked 
and removed when the kernel is pounded or ground to fine meal. Soft sand- 
stone mortars once were used for grinding, but now modern equipment is 
in the possession of every family. After grinding, the next process is re- 
moval of the bitter tannin. The Indian chief makes a long, shallow basin 



being a dark chocolate brown. The taste suggests a mixture 
of cornmeal and peanut butter, and some people relish it at 
once, but others, it must be confessed, have to be educated 
to it. Because of the high oil and starch content of the acorn, 
it is very nutritious and is reported to be easily digested. Only 
acorns from white oaks should be gathered, as those from the 
black oaks are too bitter. 7 Typical Missouri representatives 
of this group are the white oak, the swamp oak, the bur oak, 
and the chestnut oak. The small pile of acorns shown at the 
left (Fig. 70) made nearly two quarts of meal." 



In this age more and more food is being prepared in fac- 
tories and delivered to the consumer in packages ready to 
serve. Many new materials are contributing to the success of 
machine production. In Michigan prepared wheat bran is put 
into boxes in factories, and millions of people eat it with ap- 
parent relish. 

The Californians are actually making human food of carob 

in clean washed sand in which are laid a few flat, fern-like ends of fir 

"Small stones, heated white-hot, are placed into kettles of water. The 
water so heated is mixed with acorn meal to a consistency of porridge. 
This mixture is emptied into sanded molds, and as the hot water runs out 
into the sand, it carries away the substance causing the bitter taste. The 
meal is then washed clean of sand and worked into dough. The pasty 
cakes are baked flat, and when worked possess the oily taste of peanut 

This process is somewhat like one described by Mr. Merriam in the 
National Geographic Magazine. He said the California Indians boil their 
acorns with hot stones in baskets. 

7 "New York, November 4, 1926. 

" 'The world do move.' I have some perfectly good edible acorns without 
astringency and with real flavor which do not belong to the white oak 
group sent me by a doctor in Zenia, Ohio." (Robert T. Morris, M.D.) 

The Rural New Yorker, p. 17, 1928, mentions edible acorns in Burnett 
Co., Wis. This prompted Mr. A. C. Innis (Connecticut) to write in the issue 
of Feb. 11, 1928, about the great abundance of these acorns which grew on 
the bur oak. He had eaten them "much as we eat chestnuts here in the 
East." He also spoke of the rapid growth of these trees. 



beans and selling it in California (see Chapter VI of this 
book). Some factory may soon be giving us artistic boxes of 
acorn cakes under an attractive name. We need be surprised 
at nothing, now that the food factory has come. One man 
is now selling each week one and one-half million sandwiches 
made of peanut butter and crackers. A few generations ago 
the peanut was unknown. Then for a few decades it served 
as the pocket food of the socially unsophisticated while en- 
joying the circus or the horse race. Finally some enterprising 
enthusiast took the peanut to the factory. Millions now eat 
the one-time lowly nut in its various dignified forms. Peanut 
butter and the salted peanut have an established place at the 
American table. 

Will the acorn be next, blended with some other cereals? 
The fact that the acorn carries its own butter is an attractive 
feature. Its amazing keeping qualities are also greatly in its 
favor. The acorn bread of the California Indian keeps in- 
definitely. This is a wonderful quality for factory foods that 
are to be distributed in packages. 

Then there is that six per cent, of tannin. How easy for 
the chemical engineer to get it out if he had 50,000 tons of 
acorns a year to deal with! Tannin is worth money. We scour 
the ends of the world for it. It is quite possible that income 
from tannin might put a premium price on bitter acorns. 

In praising the excellence of the acorn as food, Dr. Mer- 
riam showed that it can probably be kept in good order for 
a longer time and more easily than any other food product 
known. A common method of storage by the Indians was to 
bury acorns in mud kept cold by a spring of water. Dr. 
Merriam reports the discovery of such caches as these that 
had lain for a period of thirty years in which the acorn re- 
mained unsprouted and unspoiled. They were merely discol- 
ored. If there is another product capable of such preservation 
I have not heard of it. 




Dr. Merriam states 8 that "in Spain and Italy sometimes 
as much as twenty per cent, of the food of poorer people 
consists of sweet acorns." This statement chimes in well with 
a circular letter of a French bishop in the 9th century who 
called upon his priests to see that his people were supplied 
with acorns during a food shortage. 

I have sat by the fire in Portugal and again in Majorca 
and eaten roasted acorns exactly as one eats roasted chestnuts 
in America. The variation among the fruit of the different 
trees of the evergreen oak (ilex, pages 156-157), like the 
variation among seedling apples, has caused some to be as 
good as chestnuts. 9 Twigs of these selected trees have been 

National Geographic Magazine, August, 1918. 

' Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1905. Oak. Q. ballota. The sweet acorn oak. Chene 
a glands doux, chene ballota. 20-30 ft. high, 3-6 circ, fruit 8-20 lines long, 
4-6 wide. 

"Vast forests on the mountains of Algeria and Morocco, but only in 
small quantities on the plains. 

"The Moors eat the acorns raw or roasted in ashes; they are found very 
nourishing, and are not bitter. They are regularly sold in the market place, 
and in some places an oil is extracted from them which is nearly as good 
as that of the olive." 

Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1907. Q. gramuntia. Holly-leaved Grammont oak. 
Native of Spain, cultivated in England, 1730. Chene de Grammont (French). 
Wellenblattrige eiche (German). Encina dulce and gouetta (Spanish). 

Blossoms June, ripens fruit in autumn of next year. Fruits annually. 
Acorns edible, and when in perfection are as good as or superior to a 
chestnut. To give this sweetness they must be kept, as at first they have a 
considerable taste of the tannin like those of the other species. 

"These are the edible acorns of the ancients which they believed fattened 
the tuna fish on their passage from the ocean to the Mediterranean. A fable 
only proving that they grew on the delicious shores and rocks of Anda- 
lusia, which unhappily is no longer the case." They fattened the swine 
which produced the celebrated salt meats of Malaga and that vicinity. 

"The wildest forests of it are now in Estremadura, where the best 
sausage and other salted meats are made from the vast herds of swine 
which are bred in them. 

"Produced by individuals and offered to the company as sweetmeats. 
Very hardy. Mountainsides in Castile and Arragon and in the wintry 
valley of Andorra." 

Loudoun, Vol. Ill, p. 1902. Q. ilex 1. Common evergreen or holm oak. 



■ 10 

grafted for some centuries exactly as we in America have 
grafted Baldwin apple trees, and these grafted trees (Figs. 
56, 62) are commercially grown to a small extent in Majorca 
and some parts of the Spanish mainland. They rank with 
chestnuts in the market. If the price of chestnuts is high, the 
price of the acorn (ballota) is high. If the price of chestnuts 
is low, the price of the ballota is low. 


When I suggest that we deliberately set out to make a crop 
of the oak tree, I am sure that some typical American, accus- 
tomed to American speed, will say, "Too slow." At this point 
I wish to get the mind of the objector quickly shifted to the 
fact that variations among individuals of oaks exist similar 

Chene weit. Encina Span. Deep rooter on well-drained soil. Garcillasso of 
Spain writes: 

"Hast thou forgotten, too, 
Childhood's sweet sports, whence first my passion grew, 
When from the bowery ilex I shook down 
Its autumn fruit which from the crag's high crown 
We tasted, sitting chattering side by side, 
Who climbed trees swinging o'er the hoarse deep tide, 
And poured into thy lap, or at thy feet, 
Their kernel's nuts, sweetest of the sweet." 


10 "Most sorts of the American oak can be propagated by grafting on 
the common oak close to the ground; and largely earthing up the graft 
afterwards." (Loudoun, Arboretum et Fruticetum, Vol. Ill, p. 1863.) 
Quarterly Journal of Forestry, Vol. V, No. 2, p. 119-23. 

It (quercus ilex), growing at Holkham Station, England, is a tree of 
many types of habit, of infinite variation in the size of leaf and fruit. Speak- 
ing of bur oak in Sundance National Forest, Wyoming, Mr. Louis Knowles, 
Forest Supervisor, said in letter to the Bureau of Forestry, October 6, 1913: 

"Heavy seed crops occur about once every three years, while a con- 
siderable crop of seed seems to grow on individual trees every year." 
(Italics are mine. J.R.S.) 

Dr. Robert T. Morris in Proceedings, Northern Nut Growers' Associa- 
tion, 1927, quotes Professor W. L. Jepson, University of California, to the 
effect that all varieties of acorn were used as food by California Indians, 
and further: 

"There is undoubtedly very great variation in the quality and yield of 
the various individual trees of one species, even in a given locality. Trees 
notable for their yield and especially for the quality of their acorns were 



to the variations in precocity of chestnuts. Regarding the 
matter of slowness, I insist that it is unfair to judge as slow 
every individual oak of the whole genus of fifty American 

Some oaks grow rapidly. 

Some oaks bear acorns when the trees are very young. 

Some oaks bear heavily. 

Some oaks bear regularly. 

Next I wish my objector to think also of the remarkable 
effects of hybridizing when one starts with trees of unusual 

The poets who have written of the strength and the long 
life of the oak tree, pointing a moral of patience and achieve- 
ment in the progress of mighty oak from the small beginning 
in an acorn, probably based their poetic utterances upon the 
few oaks that happened to grow in their own neighborhood. 
Of other more speedy oak trees poetic pens were silent. 
Trees are not used by poets to symbolize speed. 

Loudoun l4 says of quercus palustria, "Most beautiful of 
the American oaks. One hundred plants in London seven 

the special property, in aboriginal days, of a particular family or small 
tribe. This fact of variation is true as well of the black oaks; for exam- 
ple, the coast live oak, quercus agrifolia, varies so remarkably in the 
edibility of the acorns as borne by these trees that the yield of certain 
trees is esteemed by white men as a substitute for chestnuts. There are 
gardeners in the great Del Monte grounds at Monterey who gather the 
acorns of a certain coast live oak tree which stands in that area and 
eat them as they go about their work just as they might chestnuts." 

12 Merriam points out (National Geographic Magazine, August, 1918) 
that there are fifty species of oak in the United States, fifteen in Califor- 
nia alone, and thirty in the eastern part of the country. 

13 R. O. Lombard, Augusta, Georgia, had a water oak tree which he 
said he trimmed with a pocket knife when it was the size of a pitchfork 
handle. Nineteen years later I measured it — girth 67 inches, spread 51 feet. 

A chestnut oak planted in a yard in the clay hill country of Georgia by 
Governor Lamartine Hardman made the following growth in thirty years: 
girth, 67 inches; reach 34 feet one way and 30 feet the other. So far as 
I know there is nothing unusual about these trees except that their history 
seems to be known with reasonable definiteness by persons who had lived 
with them. 

Arboretum et Fruticetum, p. 1864. 



years from acorn and 15-20 feet in height. Most American 
kinds 10-12 years from acorn 20-30 feet in height." I add, 
apples rarely do better. Loudoun's figures come from cool 
Britain. Ness (page 141) reports greater speed of growth in 

As to precocity — while walking through a Portuguese fig 
orchard, I came upon a little ilex tree (evergreen oak) shoulder 
high and full of bloom (Fig. 64). The ground beneath was lit- 
tered with acorn cups. I asked the Portuguese laborer who 
was working near by if this tree bore nuts the previous year. 
He said it did and, pushed for the number, he said it might 
be two hundred. The figure may have been high, but the 
acorn cups under the lonely little bush in a neglected fig 
orchard are good evidence of some crop. I have seen bloom 
on hundreds and thousands of such small ilex trees in Por- 
tugal, Spain, Algeria, and Tunis, and was repeatedly told by 
residents that they bore fruit at an age which we in America 
think suitable for a young apple tree. 

I came home from Africa and looked along my own Blue 
Ridge Mountain lane and found two chestnut oak suckers, 
each bearing fruit, and each in the seventh summer; one 
having grown from a stump the size of my finger and the 
other from a tree two feet across (see Fig. 66). I have no 
reason to think these were the best and most precocious trees 
of my Blue Ridge mountainside. They merely grew by my 

More remarkable in my opinion was the performance of 
turkey oaks on the top of the ridge. They grow in soil weath- 
ered from quartsite sand-stone. This sandstone is cemented 
with quartz. It makes one of the poorest soils known. This 
particular tract has been further cursed by forest fires every 
few years for a period of forty years or more. The pines had 
long since succumbed and only huckleberries and turkey oaks 
remained. In April, 1910, a fire killed everything to the ground 



and in September, 1913, the turkey oaks were full of fruit. 
(See Fig. 65.) 


Like the hickories (see Chapter XIX) the oaks will hybrid- 
ize themselves. Sargent reports a number of hybrids of one 
species with several others. He further remarks that the hybrid 
offspring grows more rapidly than the parent. Professor H. 
Ness, Texas Experiment Station, who has hybridized oaks, 1 
says they do it with great ease and that it has great promise. 
He finds that during an unfavorable season these hybrid off- 
spring made an average of three or more feet on every main 
limb, and nuts were borne in 1917 from an acorn planted in 
1913. These are facts for pondering. Especially so is the fact 
that in the second generation of breeding some seeds planted 
in 1920 bore acorns in 1923 and bore a very large crop in 
1925. Starting with their present amazing qualities, what may 
not hybridization produce among fifty American (and some 
foreign) l7 species of oaks? 

15 Silva of North America, Vol. VIII, p. 19. 

16 See Journal of Heredity, October, 1918. From further experience he 
summarizes (Journal of Heredity, September, 1927) his experience with 
hybrid oaks, at College Station, Texas, as follows: 

"The indications observed on this soil are to the effect 

"(1) That the hybrids descended from the live oak, as mother, are of 
a stronger growth in both the first and the second generation than either 
of the parent species. 

"(2) That they are fertile at an early age in both generations, pro- 
ducing seed of normal viability. 

"(3) That the first generation, while very variable in some combina- 
tions, is uniform and intermediate of the two parental forms in other com- 
binations; but this uniformity is followed by the segregation of characters 
in the succeeding generations. 

"(4) Because of the ease with which the hybridization of the live oak 
may be affected, the high fertility of its hybrids and other virtues already 
mentioned, to which very likely may be added improvement of the timber, 
there can be no doubt but that the breeding of new forms of oaks, as 
here indicated, has great economical and aesthetic possibilities." 

17 As one of many promising foreign oaks, I submit the valonia oak, 
q. alglops (chene velani f.) Trabut says (Bulletin 27, Gouvernement Gen- 



I submit that the conservation of our resources demands 
that a half a dozen men should be assigned immediately to 
the task of seeking the best oak trees and of breeding still 
better oak trees. There is excellent prospect of their being 
able to add millions to the wealth of the United States (and 
also other countries) during the period of a normal lifetime. 

But more important than the cash value of their work would 
be the conservation of the soil. Oak orchards could hold the 
hills that are now washing away as we plow them and attempt 
to grow cereals upon them. 

eral de l'Algerie, 1901, p. 56) : "The acorns are sweet and edible and abun- 
dant when the 'valonie' is not harvested." The "valonie" (valonia) is the 
large thick cup of this acorn. It carries over thirty per cent, of tannin and 
is a regular article of commerce, gathered to the extent of several million 
dollars worth per year in the eastern Mediterranean countries. A tree pro- 
ducing such a double-barreled crop should be an interesting basis for 
breeding experiments. 



Up to this point we have been considering tree crops chiefly 
suited to feeding domestic animals, but now we come to the 
consideration of a series of crops that should be grown pri- 
marily for human food. I refer to the nuts. Walnuts, for ex- 
ample, like many other nuts, are a substitute for both meat 
and butter. 

Tables of food analysis (page 304) show that nuts have 
higher food value than meat, grains, or fruits. Six leading 
flesh foods average 810 calories per pound. Half a dozen com- 
mon nut kernels average 3,231 calories, about four times as 
much. Cereals at 1,650 calories are about half as nutritious 
as nuts. Fresh vegetables averaging 300 and fruits averaging 
about 275 calories per pound are less than a tenth as nutri- 
tious as nut meats. 


The quality of nut food is also of the very highest. Early 
food chemists called nut protein vegetable casein because of 
its close resemblance to the protein of milk. When the 
Chinese mother's milk fails, her babe is fed on milk made of 
boiled water and the paste of ground walnut (j. regia) meats. 1 

1 P. W. Wang, curator, Kinsman Arboretum, Chuking, Kiangsu Prov- 
ince, China, says (1922 Proceedings of the Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 
ciation, page 120) : 

"In China there is no baby fed by cow's milk. When the mother lacks 
milk and the home is not rich enough to hire a milk nurse, walnut milk 
is substituted. The way of making walnut milk is rather crude here; they 
simply grind or knock the kernel into paste, then mix with boiled water." 




Dr. J. H. Kellogg, of Battle Creek, militant nutivorous 
vegetarian and in his amazing person a substantial vindication 
of his theory, backs up the Chinese milk-substitute theory 2 
(practice) and further points out that while many vegetable 
proteins are hard to digest, those from nuts are very easy to 
digest. He further avers that nut fats (the other chief food 
elements of nuts) are "far more digestible than animal fats 
of any sort." 

The freedom of nuts from putrefactive germs and from 
ptomaine poisoning are points which we may esteem more 
highly as we increase our knowledge of what occurs in our 
digestive tracts. 

2 On pp. 83-92, 1920 Proceedings of the Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 
ciation, Dr. Kellogg claims that animal feeding experiments show that 
twenty ounces of milk will furnish complete protein enough to supplement 
a vegetable diet otherwise deficient in complete protein or that the same 
amount of protein can be furnished by the amount of nuts shown in column 
four in the following table: 

Pints of milk con- 
taming as much 
Protein as one 
pound of 
named nut one nuts 


Almond , . 
Chestnut .... 
Chinquapin .. 
Filbert or 

Hazelnut .. 
Hickory nut . 


Peanut , , , 




Black walnut 





1 Calories in I , , . ■ •■ ,. , 
/- . r x Calories in Ounces of named 

amt. of milk . . . 

... one pound . nuts needed to 
shown in 

column of named replace 20 oz. 

of milk 

780 2620 8.3 

2080 3030 3.2 

2145 3075 3.0 

2762 3165 2.4 

1040 1876 6.4 

1072 1800 6.4 

1625 3290 4.0 

1495 3345 4.8 

1170 3455 5.6 

2090 2600 2.2 

1430 3205 4.8 

[ I 

1555 3300 3.7 

2762 I 3105 2.4 

"For example, shelled almonds, at a cost of $1.00 a pound (retail) supply 
for 19.2 cents the same amount of supplementary protein furnished by milk 
at a cost of 24 cents. Black walnuts supply the same amount for 15 cents, 
pine nuts (pinons) for 20 cents, hickory nuts 15 cents, and peanuts 4 cents." 


The sufficiency of nuts as a substitute for meat in human 
diet seems well established alike by modern dietary experi- 
ment and by the experience of many primitive peoples. The 
sufficiency of a fruit and nut diet for humans is strongly hinted 
by its success with such physically similar animals as the 
orang-utan and the gorilla. 


Nuts offer a double opportunity for the improvement of 
our food situation. They can enable us to increase both the 
quantity and the quality of our food supply. During our 
frontier period of abundance nuts were neglected in America 
both dietetically and agriculturally; but their use as food is 
increasing rapidly now, and their culture is receiving attention 
which promises a widespread industry in a short time. 

The value of nuts as a means to increase the quantity of 
our food supply is forcibly suggested by the established prac- 
tice of French farmers who expect a good English (Persian) 
walnut tree to yield 150 pounds of nuts per year on the 
average. (Page 166.) These have food value greater than 
that of 150 pounds (live weight) of sheep, which is the total 
produce of a whole acre of good pasture for a year even in 
such good pasture countries as England or the United States. 
Good blue grass pastures in the United States produce about 
150 pounds of beef per acre. 

Careful study of the ingenious table (page 305), especially 
the last column, indicates the high possibility of nuts as food 
producers, if the problem of food scarcity should ever present 
itself to us. The nut trees appear to be veritable engines of 
food production. 

3 Dr. Kellogg reports successful substitution of nuts for meat for a 
period of several months with a young wolf and fish hawk and many other 
carnivores. {Proceedings, Northern Nut Growers' Association, 1916, p. 112.) 






At present the Persian walnut (commonly called English 
walnut) is the food nut most widely used in America. It is, 
however, but a type. It might in a few decades be replaced by 
any one of half a dozen nut species now growing in the United 
States (black walnut, butternut, Japanese walnut, pecan, shag- 
bark, shellbark). 

This assertion is supported by the following remarkable 
statement about the Persian walnut, which we all know to be 
a delicious and expensive article of food, as well as a large 
nut with easily accessible kernel: 

"The nut of the wild tree is small, with a thick, hard shell, 
and a small kernel, and is scarcely edible, but centuries of 
cultivation and careful selection have produced a number of 
forms with variously shaped thin shells, which are propagated 
by grafting and budding." 

At first it is hard to believe the statement even though it is 
from the great authority, Sargent." 

How came such noble offspring in the garden from such 
ignoble parentage in the wood? The answer is that this pre- 
historic achievement probably resulted from artificial selec- 
tion and chance cross breeding. It probably happened in this 
way: in the beginning of Mediterranean or western Asian agri- 
culture, some villager brought from the woods the best nuts 

1 The peanut is not a nut in any agricultural or botanic sense. 
- 2 S/ta. 


FIG. 69. Top. Caches for acorns built by Indians in the Nevada foot- 
hills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Acorns brought over the mountains 
from the California side. The winter bread for the family — the most 
nutritious bread in the world — possibly the oldest, perhaps a bread of the 
future either through machines or a return to the primitive. (Courtesy 
George B. Sudworth, U. S. Forest Service.) — FIG. 70. Bottom. Acorns 
from which the muffins shown in Fig. 68 were made. They are 1/3 to 1/4 
natural size. The largest are those of Quercus Macrocarpa Mich. 

FIG. 71. Top. Persian walnut shade trees down a monastery lane, 
Grenoble, France. Annual income about $150 gold, average pre-war. — FIG. 
72. Center. Young Persian walnut trees standing in wheat, Grenoble, 
France. Note man's head near tree. Other walnut trees in the back- 
ground. The-scatter-them-over-the-farm system. — FIG. 73. Bottom. A 
hayfield showing system of planting tall Persian walnuts with a pole in 
South Central France. Background, walnuts. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 



he (probably she) could find and planted them. The next 
generation took the best nuts from the village trees and 
planted them, the next generation of man did likewise, and so 
on. Thus we have tree generation after generation, each grown 
from the best selected seed the people knew. This process of 
bringing the best trees together in the villages where trees 
were scarce gave a chance for both parent trees of the crossing 
to be of good stock. 

This has been going on for an unknown period of time, cer- 
tainly for many centuries, and has extended over a wide area — 
from Persia to Spain and from Persia to Japan. 

As a result of this deliberate selection, and extensive, though 
not deliberate, cross breeding, have been developed many ex- 
cellent and varied types of Persian walnut. 

The tree is thought to have been a native of Persia, whence 
it spread, going into the mountains of Syria, Asia Minor, and 
the borders of Palestine. Today the ruins of the temple of 
Baalbek, which contains the largest quarried stones in the 
world, rest each morning and evening in the lengthening 
shadows of splendid Persian walnut trees that cluster around 
the ruins and dot the adjacent gardens. Persian walnuts over- 
hang the ruined walls of Constantinople, where Turks slew 
Greeks in 1453. They are scattered through Asia Minor, the 
Balkan States, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, France, 
Switzerland, and even in Scotland. 8 

Similarly this process of planting the best nuts has been 
going on for two centuries in the eastern United States, where 
the trees are scattered from Massachusetts to Ontario, Michi- 
gan, and Georgia. In California (with its Mediterranean 
climate) progress has been more systematic and rapid and an 
important orchard industry has been thoroughly established, 4 

Professor William Somerville of Oxford tells me in correspondence of 
British trees of seventeen feet in circumference and some that are ripening 
fruit at Gordon Castle in Scotland. 

For a good summary see Yearbook, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 
1925, pp. 284-304. 





with a product of thirty thousand tons in 1925 valued at 
thirteen million dollars. This is about two-thirds as great as 
the French production. 

The California walnut industry is not of especial interest to 
the purpose of this book because it is not in need of aid. This 
book is written in the hope of starting something. The Cali- 
fornia walnut industry is well established. Furthermore, as 
now conducted it has little relation to the problem of soil 
conservation — the primary objective of this book. 

The Old World walnut industry of the scattered trees has 
more significance than the cultivated orchards of California 
with regard to future developments of importance to the 
human race. 


The United States imports millions of pounds 5 of Persian 
walnuts each year from France and Italy. 

Having visited most of the European walnut districts, I 
consider it doubtful if anywhere in Europe one could find a 
place where there are half a dozen forty-acre orchards of 
walnut trees planted in rows and given systematic cultiva- 
tion. In the province Dordogne, one of the leading French 
walnut sections, orchards are almost unknown, but trees are 
exceedingly common along roadsides and field sides and in 
door yards and even scattered about the fields. The mature 
tree there is expected to yield one hundred and fifty pounds 6 

5 Total imports of walnuts now about ten million dollars per year. 

1926 walnuts shelled: 

France 17 million pounds 

China 3 " " 


Italy 9 ? 

France 7 " 

China 2 

6 Professor Grand, Professor of Agriculture at Grenoble, the leading wal- 
nut district of France, told me that trees 20 meters apart would bear from 

or more of marketable nuts on the average and very large 
trees more than this. These trees stand alone, fine and shapely 
in the fields. Some farmers plant them about the fields at 
irregular intervals and then go on with their farming. 7 If 
the walnut interferes a little with the growing wheat, oats, 
barley, potatoes, or hay, it pays for it in nuts, and the culti- 
vation of the field crops helps the trees. The value of these 
trees is attested by the rental practice of the locality. Land 
owners and farmers there rent one good walnut tree at the 
same rental as that received from an acre of plow land. 
Thus the fifty-acre farm with fifty good walnut trees scat- 
tered about rents for twice as much as a similar adjacent farm 
without trees. 

When pushed for an explanation, the farm owner hesitated 
for a moment and then said, "You see, monsieur, it is zis 
way. It is income wizout labor." 

I found an identical scattering of fine walnut trees along 
roadside, field-edge, and farmyard in many parts of Switzer- 
land and elsewhere in southern and southeastern Europe. 

In the Grenoble district of France, near the city of that 
name, is the village of Tullin, the birthplace of one Mayette, 
a pioneer horticulturist, who lived about the time of George 
Washington. Mayette seems to have started the art of grafting 
walnut trees in that locality; he picked out the parent tree of 

80 to 100 (176-220 pounds) kilos per tree and an average of 1500 to 1800 
kilos per hectare. (1300-1600 pounds per acre.) 

While journeying through the walnut districts of France, I was repeat- 
edly told of trees that yielded 150 to 200 kilograms (330 to 440 pounds) 
of nuts. 

It should be remembered that these trees usually stand alone with almost 
limitless root space and light. (See Van Duzee on pecan space, page 209.) 

7 I found one man who had planted out his whole farm with walnut trees 
ninety feet apart. 

The wood is a substantial element in the value of the enterprise. 1913 
(note the date) I was told in Grenoble that a sixty- to seventy-year-old wal- 
nut had wood worth forty dollars, and a hundred-year-old tree was worth 
sixty dollars, while there was a local record of three trees one hundred and 
fifty years old having been recently sold for four hundred dollars. 



the variety which bears his name. It is now widely scattered 
in France, California, and the eastern United States. 

Mayette has a green and noble monument — his native vil- 
lage is embowered, almost buried, in the shade of Mayette 
walnut trees. They line the roadsides, the yards, the gardens, 
and in some cases they cover the surrounding hillsides, for 
here are some small orchards, often well cultivated. Most of 
the formal orchards are badly overcrowded, for it takes nerve 
to plant walnuts fifty to sixty-five feet apart, or to plant 
them closer and then take out trees when they attain a size 
that maizes overcrowding a serious damage to them. 


The Persian walnut seems to appeal to owners of Old 
World mountain valleys — probably because of their air drain- 
age. The Paris express from Milan climbs up to its Alpine 
tunnel through a valley where the walnut trees get thicker 
and thicker before the train finally dives into a tunnel to 
come out on the Swiss side of the mountain. This Swiss valley 
is also dotted with walnut trees. The upland valleys around 
Lake Geneva must have an average of two or three to the 
acre for a number of miles, so thickly are they scattered along 
roadside, field edge, village garden, and on pieces of land 
that are not easily tillable. 

Onward through France to Paris and on to Havre they are 
a common sight. The German armies invaded France in 1914 
under long avenues of walnut trees that lined the roadsides. 

Asia Minor has interesting examples of mountain valley 
orchards. The railroad from Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, 
to Constantinople climbs up the Taurus Mountain wall 
through steep defiles and tunnels and then near the top comes 
out on a fine agricultural valley where hundreds of walnut 
trees are scattered about roadsides and fields. I have never 
seen finer specimens. 

The interior of Asia Minor is too dry for the walnut except 



where irrigated, but this tree reappears on the other side of 
the plateau where the train comes down to Constantinople 
through a valley that opens out to the Mediterranean. This 
seaward-facing valley has more rain than the interior and 
again the fine walnut trees appear scattered about as in 
France and Switzerland. I think I may say that for thirty 
miles there is scarcely an interval of two hundred feet without 
one of these magnificent trees. On a branch of the Morava 
River in Jugo-Slavia is another similar valley. There the 
walnut vies with cherry and other fruit trees for efficient use 
of corners of land. 

Along the plain of the Danube and the Save in Jugo-Slavia, 
west of Belgrade, the walnut is a common shade tree for rail- 
road station yard and village street. 


In the drier sections of Europe and West Asia the walnut 
goes into the irrigated vegetable garden, where it becomes a 
part of a two-story agriculture. The United States receives a 
substantial import of nuts from Naples. Most of them are 
grown on the slopes of Vesuvius and the nearby Sorrento 
peninsula, where it is a common practice to cover the vege- 
table garden with walnut trees. These trees stand up tall and 
spare like the common black locust (robinia pseudacacia) of 
the United States. Because they carry their heads high and 
because they leaf late in the season, the trees permit the 
Italian sun to reach the garden crops beneath, thus making a 
profit through two sources of income. The same type of gar- 
dening prevails in the gardens of Baalbek, in many other parts 
of Palestine and Syria, and throughout Persia, where one fre- 
quently sees the white branches and green foliage of the walnut 
standing above the wall that protects every garden of that 
hungry land. The California walnut industry is nearly all of 
the irrigation type, but because there is plenty of land in 
California the two-crop system has not been highly developed. 



It is probably a mistake that this has not been done. (See 
Chapter XXIIL) 


The European practice of scattering trees about the farm 
and the village seems to be extensively worked out in many 
oriental localities. One often sees a walnut tree or two near 
the mud-roofed houses and on the little farms of Cashmere. 
Nuts are one of the exports of this mountain valley, and carved 
walnut work of great beauty is one of its most prized handi- 
crafts and an important export. 

The United States derives a substantial supply of walnuts 
from North China, where they are grown on seedling trees 
scattered about the farms in the hill country west and south- 
west of Peking. Here they grow in an interior continental 
climate closely resembling that of Iowa and eastern Nebraska 
— making this a very promising place to seek for parent trees 
for use in America. 


In eastern North America we had the misfortune, though 
very naturally, to start the walnut industry with European 
strains in a climate that was strange to them. West Europe, 
namely France and England, has an oceanic climate, which is 
characterized by cool summers lacking our hot humidity. It 
also lacks the sudden shifts from warm weather to cold 
weather in spring. In southern Europe the Mediterranean 
climate is characterized by an open winter with rain and a 
hot dry summer without rain. 

Now it so happens that the climate of eastern North Amer- 
ica, being continental, has a spring with cold and warm 
spells alternating. Therefore vegetation tends to start growth 
too early and plants like the apricot, peach, and Persian walnut 
sometimes get frosted. Furthermore, this eastern North Amer- 
ica has a summer with rain and humidity to which the Euro- 



pean plants are not accustomed, heat and humidity constituting 
the chief idea of heaven for fungi. 

Consequently many European plants come down with leaf 
blights when brought from England, France, or Italy to New 
York or Carolina or any other place east of the Rocky Moun- 

Spring frost or leaf blight is a detriment to most of the 
thousands of Persian walnut trees in the eastern United 
States. But here and there stands a tree so immune that an 
orchard of them would be very valuable. Nothing is a more 
natural thing to do than to get a good walnut from such a tree 
and plant it, expecting to grow a tree producing fruit like the 
nut that was planted. Hundreds and thousands of people (my- 
self included) have done this, not even knowing the source 
of the walnut, nor thinking that the resulting tree being a 
seedling is a cross bred or a hybrid (Figs. 74 and 90) and 
therefore almost guaranteed not to produce fruit like the seed. 
I cannot better illustrate this situation than by giving my 
own experience. With an interest in trees but no horticultural 
education, I had a vision of the old farm in Virginia waving 
green with English walnut trees and enriching me with their 
fruit. I knew of one tree, some fifty miles away, that bore 
barrels of nuts, which were eagerly bought by local grocers at 
a good price. The seedlings from this tree perished in my 
yard the first winter. Then in 1896 I sent to a New Jersey 
nurseryman, bought seedlings, and planted out three acres of 
three-foot trees. I thought that New Jersey stock would thrive 
in slightly warmer Virginia. The next year they were two-foot 
trees; the next year they were one-foot trees; and then they 
died from the repeated winter-killings. 

I was no more stupid than many other people, but I did 
not know, and no one in the eastern United States seemed to 
know, that people had been grafting walnut trees in France 
and selling them for centuries. I knew of no place in America 
where grafted trees suitable for Virginia could be bought, if 



■ i 

they could be bought at all, and my walnut enthusiasm had to 
rest awhile. 

Meantime, many people here and there had succeeded with 
a seedling tree or two, and Mr. Daniel Pomeroy, near Niagara 
Falls, with an orchard protected from the warm spring days 
by the cool waters of Lakes Erie and Ontario, was having such 
success with them, that for a long time he sold his seedling 
trees far and wide. Several orchards of these trees are thriving 
near the protecting lakes, but being seedlings, they are not 
yielding heavily on the average. 

Many of the Pomeroy trees have perished in the more 
changeable spring of localities farther south (Maryland, south- 
ern Pennsylvania, et cetera) not so specially protected in 
spring by the tempering influences of water. 


California, on the west side of the continent, in latitude 
30° to 40° north, has the Mediterranean type of climate. There 
the whole Mediterranean flora is at home, including tender 
apricots, wine grapes, and Persian walnuts; and, therefore, 

8 "80 South Lake Street, 
North East, Pennsylvania, 
May 27, 1927. 
"The orchard was set in 1900; there are two hundred and sixty trees of 
which two hundred are bearing. They are set fifty feet apart, each way, 
with four rows of Concord grapes between two rows of trees; the grapes 
cover about half of the orchard, red raspberries are set on the other half. 
The trees do not affect small crops because the roots are very deep. Clean 
cultivation is recommended, and it is best to plow under a 'cover' crop 
in the spring. The orchard bore 1800 pounds in 1924, 2400 pounds in 1925, 
and 4500 in 1926. Last year we gathered from five to six bushels off the 
largest trees. 

"Very truly yours, 

"E. A. JONES." 

This report shows well the weakness of the seedling tree. At the end of 
twenty-seven seasons with good culture twenty-three per cent, of the trees 
were not bearing, while some trees were yielding two hundred and fifty to 
three hundred pounds each. Apparently ten per cent, of his trees, all as good 
as the best, would have yielded as much or more than the whole lot. Be- 
cause of similar performances, many seedling orchards in California have 
been topworked. 



experimental plantings of Persian walnuts have thriven. The 
first commercial attempts succeeded instead of being smashed 
out by frost as was my attempt of 1896, at which date the 
California walnut industry was well under way and has thriven 
ever since. 

The elimination of seedling orchards is increasing the Cali- 
fornia yield. The technique of the walnut-growing industry 
has developed, and now it has an association of growers car- 
rying on national advertising and selling campaigns and mar- 
keting tens of millions of pounds of nuts each year. 

As the climate of Portland, Oregon, is a near duplicate of 
that of Paris ' ' and Seattle that of London, we see why western 
Oregon and Washington have promising Persian walnut or- 
chards (over 12,000 acres). However, occasional freezes such 
as that of 1919, more severe apparently than those that come 
to France, do great damage to the trees occasionally. 


While California successfully transplants another European 
industry, the eastern states having started with European 
strains are still deluded by them and are still experimenting 
with them and hunting for good parent trees among them. 

' "In reply to your question, 'Is it a fair statement that a first-class ma- 
tured English walnut orchard will produce two thousand pounds annually?' 
will say that there are a number of such orchards in the state, but they are 
considered as you say in your letter strictly first-class orchards and consid- 
erably above the average production. The average for the state, I think, is 
about eight or nine hundred pounds per acre, per year, so that you see an 
orchard which produces a ton per year is considerably above the average." 
(Thomas Francis Hunt, University of California Experiment Station, letter, 
July 13, 1913.) 

10 California Walnut Growers' Association worked for seven years to 
perfect a walnut-branding machine which puts their name on each nut. They 
offered a ten thousand dollar prize for the mechanical principle and then 
spent years in working it out into a machine that will brand 2,000 nuts a 
minute, or a 30,000 pound carload in a day. In October, 1926, they had 125 
of the machines running at a cost of only five cents for the 4,000 nuts in a 
one hundred pound bag — one-thirtieth of the cost of small sealed cartons 
on which they had previously been working. 

11 For details, see North America, by J. Russell Smith, 



This continued dependence on European strains is not un- 
natural. Professor F. N. Fagan, of the Pennsylvania State 
College, has made a partial survey of Pennsylvania and has 
found walnuts growing in at least twenty-five counties. Mr. 
Fagan estimates that the aggregate number in the state must 
be at least five thousand trees. Some of them are bearing reg- 
ularly at elevations of fourteen or even eighteen hundred feet. 
Trees of local repute have been reported from southern On- 
tario, New York State, Massachusetts, and as far south as 
Georgia. 12 Their total number runs into many thousands. 
Where are the best trees? Are they fit to become the basis 
of a commercial crop in the East? It is doubtful if anyone 
yet knows. Nearly all of the nuts have enough tannin in the 
pericarp or brown skin of the kernel to give the kernel a 
slightly bitter taste. Only a few of them are absolutely sweet. 
Most of the trees are subject to leaf blight; nearly all of them 
are winter killed in exceptionally severe winters. I may add 
in passing that I saw a surprising amount of winter killing 
on the commercial trees of France and Italy. Mostly these 
European trees looked no more physically prosperous than 
some of the trees in the eastern United States. 

It is probable that two or three dozen of these trees of the 
eastern United States are worthy of commercial propagation. 
There are several varieties on sale in accredited nurseries 
that are worthy of propagation on an experimental scale. 

12 There has not been very much success with Persian walnuts west of 
the Appalachians. Mr. Riehl at Alton, Illinois (climate of St. Louis) re- 
ported failure with all he tried; but Mr. Otto Witte at Amherst, Ohio, 
thirty miles west of Cleveland, and five miles from Lake Erie (lake climate) 
reports success with trees from German seed. 

Upon the whole the country west of the Appalachians is very debatable 
ground for the European strains with which we now experiment. 

"I am not sure whether any of the Persian walnut trees I now have will 
prove commercially successful here, but some of them give fair hopes and 
may lead to something better. It is too early yet in my experiments to know 
what degree of success I may have in the near future." (Letter, N. F. 
Drake, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Feb. 28, 1927.) 

13 See Northern Nut Growers' Association, H. D. Spencer, Secretary, 
Decatur, Illinois, or the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Washington. 



As an example of the small botanic factors upon which 
commercial success may depend, I cite a variety called the 
Alexis. The parent tree stands about thirty miles from Balti- 
more, Maryland. The observant Mr. J. F. Jones, of Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania, owner of a very interesting test orchard, re- 
ported that this variety is one of the most dependable known 
to him. This tree has borne regularly for Mr. Jones. This fact 
he explained as resulting from one habit of the tree, namely, 
it makes a quick growth in the spring like the hickory, hardens 
its new wood, and makes no late summer growth. From vari- 
eties making a late summer growth the late grown and there- 
fore tender leaves are eaten off by a leaf chafer. This loss of 
late summer leaf-growth apparently weakens the twig, causing 
it to become an easy prey to winter-killing (really spring- 
killing). 14 


We should have Persian walnut trees as hardy as our native 
black walnuts. They should be resistant to blight and of good 
bearing qualities. There is good reason to believe this thing can 
be done. 

First we need to search the world for the best trees that 
have already resulted from the chance labors of Nature and 
man. It was a great agricultural and horticultural misfortune 
for America that we got our plants and trees from Europe 

14 The observations of Mr. Ford Wilkinson, of Rockport, southern In- 
diana, give an interesting confirmation on Mr. Jones' observation and upon 
the widespread belief that the Persian walnut will not thrive in the Missis- 
sippa Valley. 

Mr. Wilkinson reports that five of his forty English walnut trees have 
escaped fatal winter kill. One seven-year-old tree bore more than a half 
bushel of fine nuts in the fall of 1926. All of these five survivors are grow- 
ing near a large tree or in a crowded position where they are partially 
shaded in hot weather and also robbed of moisture in late summer, causing 
them to go dormant early and be prepared for winter weather. 

Mr. Wilkinson has investigated many Indiana trees of reputed unusual 
hardiness and of actual unusual success and finds in every case lawn grass 
competition or some other protection from late summer growth. 




rather than from China and Japan. There are three great 
regions of the Persian walnut: (1) the Far East; (2) the 
Near East; and (3) Europe. We drew from the worst of the 
three, Europe, the one having a climate that permitted the sur- 
vival of the tenderest trees. 

We should institute a careful search of the Near East and 
Far East to find good and hardy parent trees. For example, 
Lorin Shepherd, M.D., who has served as missionary at Aintab, 
Turkey, reports having hunted through the mountain districts 
fifty miles north of that place in a locality which was de- 
populated by war a hundred and fifty years ago. In that time, 
the Persian walnut has run wild. Up near the snow line at 
six thousand feet elevation it associates with the beech. It 
grows in thickets, and the trees are only four or five feet in 
height because they are kept nearly prostrate by the great 
burden of snow that lies on them each winter. Yet Dr. Shep- 
herd reports that they bear good nuts. 

Caravans have been carrying walnuts back and forth across 
Asia for unknown centuries. The splendid walnut trees and 
nuts in the Vale of Cashmere and its adjacent hills are well 
known, but there are many other valleys opening out of the 
Himalaya Mountains and west of them in Afghanistan and 
east of them in southwestern China. 

It is interesting to speculate on the crop-tree resources of 
this old region, where each valley is a plant world to itself, 
and where valleys are separated from valleys by snow-covered 
ranges or bleak plateaus. For many centuries skillful farmers 
have been making their living in these remote mountain valleys 
and in the remote provinces of China. The Chinese province of 
Yunnan, with a great variety of elevations, seems to be a veri- 
table tree laboratory 15 with interesting walnut tree develop- 
ments. We should have a half-dozen men exploring this region 
at once. 

15 See the explorations of Joseph Rock, National Geographic Society, 
Washington, D. C, and U. S. Department of Agriculture. 



We might begin on walnuts with deliberate science where 
the Asiatics left off their chance improvements. 

It should be a comparatively simple matter for us to get the 
best walnut trees from the many thousands whose crops are 
now exported to us from the Chinese provinces of Chihli and 

Korea and Japan also offer promising fields for search. The 
Japanese walnuts are perhaps the most promising of all, be- 
cause they have been subjected to great heat and humidity, 
and, therefore, like most Japanese trees should have leaves 
very resistant to blight." 

It is probable that trees from the Korean and Japanese 
areas can be secured without even the trouble of sending a 
man to look for them. 

The Yokohama Nursery Company has already demonstrated 
what can be done in this line. They propagated for me ten 
different strains of Korean and Chinese persimmons from 
cions, which I secured in person or by friends in Northwest 
China and sent to Yokohama by mail. The Yokohama Nursery 
Company grafted the cions upon native stocks and shipped 
them to America under the care of the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. 

The Horticultural Department at the University of Nan- 
king stands (or stood, 1925) ready to propagate trees, and 
its students from nearly all parts of China and its faculty have 
better opportunity than a traveling explorer has to observe 
and secure desirable parent trees. With a small expenditure 
of American money, some commercial arrangement could 
probably be made; at least it could have been made in 1925. 
Many wide-awake American missionaries, provided they can 

16 I have seen very fine trees bearing very good-looking nuts (which I 
did not taste), and this (at Kamisuwa) in the part of Japan which has 
skating for a winter sport and rice (indicative of humidity) for its chief 
crop. These trees were in Buddhist temple grounds at Kamisuwa and in 
several villages a few miles to the north. The whole locality merits careful 



continue in China, would also be glad to cooperate in this work 
of local observations and sending specimens of both nuts and 

While we are searching foreign countries, we should also 
carefully search for the good trees in America, a task which is 
far from complete. This world search, thoroughly made, would 
probably give strains of Persian walnuts which would be 
hardy throughout almost all the territory now occupied by 
any native American walnut. 


With a world collection of walnuts as material to work upon 
it seems plain that much improvement would result from 
scientific breeding. Five hundred acres of land and a staff of 
men should be busy at this work at once. 

The Persian walnut is especially alluring to the plant 
breeders because of its great variation within the species — 
variation as to blight-resistance, frost-resistance, speed of 
growth, size, shape, quantity, and flavor of fruit, thickness 
of shell, and in other ways. One of its chief troubles is early 
spring growing and consequent frost injury. Yet there are 
strains here and there that remain dormant to an unusually 
late period in the spring. 17 

17 For example, I happened to be walking through some orchards near 
Grenoble, France, on the 10th of June, 1913, and inquired what had killed 
a tree that stood leafless in the orchard. The owner replied, "It is not dead. 
It has not come out in leaf yet." This incredible fact was evidently true. A 
perfectly healthy tree it was, just beginning to show the first sign of 
growth. Across the road cherries were ripe, farmers were making hay, and 
the wheat was in head. This late-blooming tree was not of the best, but its 
nuts, though scanty, were of quality good enough to cause the tree to be 

This type of variation is not rare. As I rode from Milan to Paris, May 
18, 1926, I saw from the car window, shortly after entering Switzerland, a 
number of trees that were much less advanced in foliage than their fel- 
lows near by. Trees with similar habits have been found in America. 

"We have one tree among our hybrids that continues dormant until about 
the first of June, about four weeks later than the normal, but after it puts 
forth its leaves it makes three or four times as much growth as the other 
trees of the same age." (J. W. Killen, Felton, Delaware, February 8, 1916.) 



Using these late -blooming strains (and there are others) 
as a base for breeding gives a reasonable certainty of getting 
an almost frost-proof Persian walnut. Working with East 
Asiatic strains should give us blight-proof walnuts. It appears 
reasonable to think that a hardy Persian walnut might even- 
tually be found or bred to grow almost anywhere that our 
native black walnuts now grow. 

So much for this one species. But it hybridizes with other 
species. It does it with great ease. For example, a farmer near 
Camden, New Jersey, having one tree which he liked, had a 
nurseryman grow a hundred seedlings from its nuts. The lit- 
tle trees did not look like their mother; and when they began 
to bear they indicated that they had a butternut father. 18 
The farmer dug up ninety-nine as worthless and the hundredth 
was scarcely worth keeping. Episodes like this have happened 
again and again, but this method can produce great results if 
skillfully used. 

Professor Ralph E. Smith of the University of California 

"Our English walnut tree, it is thirty years old and for the last fifteen 
years it has borne annually. I think that it has averaged about 1% bushels 
for the last five years. It has over two bushels this year. It blooms so late 
it looks like a tree in mid-winter up to the first week in June and then the 
leaves grow very rapidly. I am not positive that it bore in 1899 (a year of 
terrible winter), but I think it did. I am positive that it bore a good crop 
last year and that the mercury was 20 degrees below the previous winter." 
(Asa M. Stabler, Spencerville, Md.) 

18 There is a locally famous Persian walnut tree in Berks County, Pa. 
It is supposed to be two hundred years old. The owner has been offered five 
hundred dollars for the tree as lumber, but it bears so many good nuts that 
he holds it. Innumerable seedlings have been grown from this tree by the 
thrifty Pennsylvania Germans. Almost invariably they are worthless. Ap- 
parently they are the hybrid progeny of a butternut father which stands a 
quarter of a mile to the northwest. 

A Persian walnut, hybridized with bitternut, produced a nut which 
looked like English walnut. Planted at Chatham, Ontario, in the fall of 
1910. December, 1924, it was 41 feet high, 52 feet spread, 19 inches in 
diameter; grew in good alluvial soil with plenty of room. Produced a few 
nuts, large, thick-shelled, with a small kernel which came out almost entire. 
Tree stood the severe winter of 1917-18 without the slightest injury. (In- 
formation from Professor James Neilson, Port Hope, Ontario.) 

These facts indicate both the troubles of growing seedlings and the pos- 
sibilities of breeding better trees. 





says " that in almost every case the crosses between a black 
walnut and a Persian walnut "show a rapid development and 
within the first four or five years they assume a size and rapid- 
ity of growth several times as great as that of other seedlings" 
(i.e., either parent). The rapid growth of some of these trees 
is truly astonishing. Professor Smith points out that these 
hybrids stand excess of water and drought better than the 
Persian parent. Then he tells one more exceedingly sugges- 
tive thing. While trees of this cross are almost invariably 
worthless for fruit, he reports one that "seems to produce every 
year a very large crop of nuts." It only takes one tree to found 
a variety. All the Baldwin apples and all the navel orange trees 
in the world started from one tree. 

The application of Mr. Burbank's methods to the develop- 
ment of the various species of walnuts is an interesting task 
with promising possibilities. It awaits imagination backed with 

19 Bulletin No. 231, p. 154-5. The Economics of the English Walnut. 

FIG. 74. Top. English walnut and its seedlings. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. 

Agr.) — FIG. 75. Center. Black walnut. Top-worked with English walnut 

in J. Russell Smith's fence row. — FIG. 76. Bottom. Persian walnut shade 

tree in Washington, D. C. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 


' '!' 

FIG. 77. Top Row. Japanese walnut (center) and two of its butternut hybrids, 
life-size. Remainder, natural variants of American black walnut. (Photo 
E. R. Deats.) 

FIG. 78. Top, Stabler walnut shell and kernels; next, Thomas walnut and kernels; 
next, Ohio walnut and kernels; bottom, some Maryland chestnuts, probably Japanese, 
that have survived the blight. All life-size. 




The American black walnut may become a greater future 
asset to the human race than its now more appreciated rival, 
the Persian walnut. It will surely become a greater asset than 
the Persian walnut if it should be as much improved. While 
the Persian walnut started as an almost worthless product of 
a wild tree, nature has, at the beginning, produced in the 
American black walnut a product of substantial merit and of 
some commercial value. 

Nothing has been done to improve the black walnut. We 
have even mercilessly destroyed many fine nut-bearing trees 
in the quest for its valuable timber. 

It has helped to fatten countless American frontier herds 
of swine. The American Indian made use of the walnut as 
food. It has been a food of some importance to the colonial 
American.' For generations gathering black walnuts has been 

1 "Hogs do exceedingly well on walnuts. Stock hogs will winter nicely 
on walnuts exclusively, but small hogs cannot break the walnuts. Brood 
sows, for example, will do well on walnuts, needing corn only while suckling 
actively. Tons of the very richest poultry and hog food can be produced on 
one acre of land. Two or three mature walnut trees will supply food enough 
for from one to two dozen hens the three winter months in Kentucky." 
(Dr. P. W. Bushong, Edmonton, Metcalf County, Kentucky, August 12, 

Governor Hardman of Georgia tells me that he sometimes hears the 
following sequence of sounds: first, falling walnuts; second, hogs in motion 
towards the tree; third, the popping of walnuts in the porcine jaws. 

* "Several years ago one fine fall day I was over in Kentucky scouting 
for a pecan tree I had heard of and went to the cabin of an old negro 
whom I knew and found him hulling a very large pile of black walnuts he 




a joyful autumn labor of the American country boy, and much 
rural sociability has centered around apples and walnuts be- 
side the autumn and winter hearth fire. 


Now the wild black walnut is participating in the new food 
era — the era of machine-made foods. 

Since the commercial manufactures of candy and ice cream 
have become an established American industry, there has 
sprung up a surprisingly large trade in wild walnut kernels. 3 
The American Nut Journal for December 3, 1922, reports the 

"Greene County, Tennessee, this season shipped two hun- 
dred and ten thousand pounds of nut kernels, according to a 
dispatch from Greeneville. On one day late in October seven 
thousand dollars were paid out in Greeneville for the kernels. 
A good cracker can earn forty cents an hour." 

For two reasons eastern Tennessee and adjacent states are 
an important region in the production of walnut kernels. One 
reason is that it is a good place for walnut trees and the other 
is that it is a country of limited available resources and rather 
overcrowded population. Many of the families are large, and 
many boys, girls, and women have few opportunities for em- 
ployment. Picking out walnut kernels offers profitable addi- 

had gathered. 'Uncle Abe, what are you going to do with all of those 
walnuts?' I asked. 'Cap'n,' he replied, Tse gwine to eat these this winter 
when I don't have any meat.'" (Letter, J. Ford Wilkinson, Rockport, 
Indiana, January, 1928.) 

3 "The sale of hulled nuts is increasing. One merchant in Beaverdam, 
Kentucky (fifty miles southeast of Evansville, Indiana) bought seven hun- 
dred bushels this season for shipment to Memphis." (Letter, Sam C. Baker, 
Beaverdam, Kentucky.) 

A walnut-meat factory, employing thirty to fifty women who were re- 
ceiving twenty cents a pound for picking out the meats after the nuts were 
cracked, was established in 1926 in Carlisle, Kentucky. It resulted from the 
efforts of State Forester Merrill to buy a couple of tons of nuts to plant. 
He received offers of a thousand tons, and the establishment of this in- 
dustry resulted. (American Nut Journal, December, 1926.) 



tional employment. It is like the cottage loom of Revolution- 
ary days. 

Persons who have never gathered walnuts fail to appreciate 
the great productivity of these trees in localities where they 
grow abundantly. The Madison Survey, a paper published by 
a vegetarian disciple of Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who runs a school 
for mountain boys and girls not far from Nashville, reports 
that the school went to the autumn woods with a picnic dinner 
one day in October, 1920, and brought back in trucks and 
wagons over two hundred bushels of black walnuts in the hull. 


All of the above-mentioned commercial facts have depended 
upon wild nuts — the chance product of nature. Few of the 
readers of this book have seen any black walnut except the 
wild one. An industry is now starting on the basis of commer- 
cial propagation of a few varieties of black walnuts — the best 
wild trees that have been found. The parent trees of these 
varieties have been selected from millions of wild trees. The 
search for varieties was made by the Northern Nut Growers' 
Association working in conjunction with the Department of 
Agriculture and a few members of state staffs. 

This new industry depends upon four facts: 

(1) The technique of budding and grafting nut trees which 
has been recently developed in America. By skillful use of the 
new technique we may multiply any tree that we may choose 
and make of it a variety with an indefinite number of speci- 

(2) Several parent trees of superior merit are now available 
for propagation. 

(3) An increasing demand for black walnut kernels. 

(4) The new industry has possibilities of heavy production 

4 The Madison Survey, October 27, 1920. 

5 This association is a very interesting group of pioneers with a member- 
ship of diverse and often distinguished attainments. (H. D. Spencer, Secre- 
tary, Decatur, Illinois.) 





because of the wide range of territory suited to the black 



This technique has been worked out to the point where it 
is safe to say that trees of any desired variety can be had in 
any desired quantity in a comparatively short space of time. 
Many private experimenters scattered over the country are 
successful in grafting walnuts, both black and Persian, and 
also many varieties of pecan and hickory. Success in grafting 
nut trees is by no means as sure as with apples, and the de- 
gree of success seems to vary very greatly from year to year, 
probably due to the fact that we do not yet know or observe 
all of the controlling factors. 

This technique seems to have been first explained for the 
layman in terms easy to follow in a book called Nut Growing 
by Dr. R. T. Morris (Macmillan, 1921). 8 I think I am right 
when I say that all of the essentials of his methods are ex- 
plained in the Appendix of this book. I have myself taught the 
art to half a dozen farm hands. I would not hesitate to take 
any dozen illiterate mountaineers, good whittlers or fiddlers, 
fiddlers preferred; and if they tried, I could make eight or ten 
good (but slow) grafters out of the dozen in two hours' time. 

People in many lands have successfully followed the direc- 
tions in Dr. Morris' book, but some have not been so suc- 


Mr. Willard G. Bixby, of Baldwin, Long Island, New York, 
has probably done more scientific work on varieties of nuts 
than any man in the world (page 29). Following the example 

6 Any one interested in nuts should read the book because of its valuable 
information. It is also worth reading because the author has a sense of 

The U. S. Department of Agriculture also has a bulletin on nut propa- 

of Dr. Robert T. Morris he started with a diligent search for 
the best varieties of American nuts. By offering prizes he set 
many people to hunting for nuts. This process has been re- 
peated many times by the Northern Nut Growers' Association. 
The United States Department of Agriculture is also continu- 
ally on the lookout for new varieties. 

As a result of extended search several varieties of black 
walnuts are now considered worthy of commercial propaga- 
tion. Several others are believed to be of great merit, but hav- 
ing been only recently discovered there has not been time to 
test them. One of the varieties most favorably known is the 
Stabler. The nuts come out of the shell very easily, usually in 
unbroken halves. Some of the nuts have kernels of only one 
lobe of meat, which comes out in one piece. The tree is a slow 
grower, apparently a rather poor feeder, and, all things con- 
sidered, is perhaps no better than half a dozen others now 
under test. 7 

The Thomas and Ohio varieties have fruited at Fairhaven, 
Vt. — winter temperature — 30° F. The Stabler and Ten Eyck 
are not hardy there. 

The first orchard of black walnut trees to make a commer- 
cial income was that of E. A. Riehl of Alton, Illinois, who 
planted some gulch banks and bluff sides overlooking the 
Mississippi River to walnuts and chestnuts. 

"The tree (parent tree still standing twenty miles north of Washing- 
ton, D. C.) is about twelve feet in circumference, has a spread of limbs of 
seventy-five feet and bore sixteen bushels of nuts this year. The tree is 
said to be about sixty years old and has a timber value of about one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. Tradition has it that this is a grafted tree and that 
the cions were brought from Baltimore County, Maryland, about sixty years 
ago by John K. Harvey, an expert apple grafter. There seems to be some 
foundation for this tradition." (Letter, T. P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C, 
December 14, 1915.) 

"So far as I can find out it has not missed a crop in its bearing year in 
the memory of any man that knows the tree. It bears only in the odd years, 
and usually about fifteen bushels. The old branches do not bear one walnut 
in even years, but in late years some watersprouts that grew up where the 
top was broken in the hurricane of 1896 have been bearing about half a 
bushel." (Henry Stabler, Washington, D. C, January 26, 1916.) 



"We have found by actual test that the Thomas gives over 
ten pounds of meats to the bushel and with care ninety per 
cent, are unbroken quarters." 8 

The flavor of these nuts is of unusual excellence. The tree 
is a fast grower, somewhat subject to loss of leaves in late 
summer from fungus. I have had seven-foot trees of this va- 
riety produce nuts in the nursery row. 

The Thomas, the Stabler, and the Ohio, which seems to be 
midway in qualities between the Stabler and the Thomas, 
were thought worthy of recommendation for general planting 
by the Northern Nut Growers' Association in 1926.' I have 
used them all in my own first planting of ten acres. I am one 
of many to start commercial plantings. Several thousand 
grafted trees have been planted in widely scattered locations 
east of the Mississippi River and a few west of it. Commercial 
data on the industry are likely to increase and become avail- 
able in the next decade. 

A crop of black walnuts to occupy winter hours of farm 
labor appears to be a very effective item in farm economy. 

8 Letter, E. A. Riehl, January 19, 1915. 

5 See their Bulletin No. 6, in which they gave to the public the following 
advice: "The Northern Nut Growers' Association has been studying the 
varieties, propagation, and growth of nut trees for seventeen years. It now 
recommends the planting in orchard form of the better varieties of grafted 
and budded native American black walnuts in those parts of the country 
where the tree grows naturally." 

10 "I have not changed my mind a particle about the black walnut in the 
last four or five years. I knew that as soon as a black walnut that could be 
cracked was discovered it would take the place it deserves and as 'faith 
without works is dead' I expect to set about fifteen acres of the 'Stabler' 
black walnut next fall. I want something for my farm labor to do in the 
winter time anyhow, and if I could have about a thousand bushels of these 
walnuts for them to amuse themselves by cracking on wintry days, thereby 
producing about ten thousand pounds of walnut meats, even selling them at 
twenty-five cents per pound, you see, would return twenty-five hundred 

"Mr. Riehl is getting eighty cents for walnut meats; it is certainly not 
out of reason to expect them to always bring at least twenty-five cents per 
pound." (Letter, Thomas P. Littlepage, Washington, D. C, January 19, 
1916.) Eleven years later, with his trees in bearing, Mr. Littlepage is as 
enthusiastic as ever. Mr. Littlepage, a corporation lawyer, was one of the 
founders of the Northern Nut Growers' Association in 1910. 



There is no reason to think that the best varieties of black 
walnut have yet been found, and it is highly probable that 
trees better than any now living have been destroyed in the 
slaughter ' ' of trees which has marked the whole era of the 
white man in America. 


The black walnut is unique among commercial nuts in re- 
taining its flavor when cooked. Cooking makes many other 
nuts lose flavor, but the black walnut comes through as tasty 
and attractive as ever. This is a great advantage in this age 
of factory-made food — ice cream and candy, nut bread and 
nut cake. 

With the movement on in America for good health and 
physical efficiency there is an increasing emphasis upon the 
meatless diet. A large increase in population will force us in 
that direction through scarcity of meat. Under such conditions 
tasty black walnut bread made of whole wheat flour is not 
only good, nutritious, and wholesome, but is almost a complete 
substitute for bread, butter, and meat. 

Ice cream manufacturers have been trying to buy walnut 
meats in twenty thousand pound lots. Apparently the future 
demand for the black walnut may far outrank the demand for 

" Some of these tree tragedies have probably destroyed parent nut trees 
that would have been worth millions if propagated in sufficient numbers. 
The following episode is a good illustration of this point. 

Mr. Harry R. Weber, a lawyer of Cincinnati, with nut trees for an avo- 
cation, found in two successive years the shells of a black walnut resting on 
a wing dam in the Ohio River near Cincinnati. The shape of this shell both 
inside and outside bore such a resemblance to that of a Persian walnut 
that its kernel must have been very easy indeed to remove. Where had this 
nut tree grown — in all the wide reaches of the Ohio Valley above this dam 
upon which it had floated? Wide search, correspondence, and newspaper 
publicity all seemed finally to fix the place in Floyd County, Virginia, near 
the headwaters of the New River. Mr. John W. Hershey, of Pennsyl- 
vania, made a five hundred mile journey to investigate the hillsides of Floyd 
County. When he arrived, the farmer showed him a bare pasture field. 
The lumbermen had cut this probably matchless tree, and not a sprout 



the Persian walnut, which must be eaten uncooked and is not 
the equal of the black walnut for candy, cake, or ice cream. 
Therefore, the Persian walnut has less potential value than 
the black walnut in American and European diet. 


The territory for the black walnut industry in the United 
States is wide. In this respect it is almost a rival of corn. This 
one single species (juglans nigra) thrives in northern New 
York and southern Georgia, in north central Wisconsin and 
south central Texas, and from central Massachusetts to west- 
ern Kansas, Nebraska, 12 and Oklahoma, with a substantial 
slice of South Dakota and Minnesota included in its range. 
Roughly this walnut belt covers most of the Corn Belt, most 
of the Cotton Belt, and tens of thousands of square miles of 
Appalachian and other eastern hill country on which no type 
of agriculture can survive but grass, trees, or terraces. 


We should never lose sight of the fact that at the present 
moment the black walnut industry depends on chance wild 
nuts and that we may find better specimens any day. Cer- 
tainly we should expect to breed better nuts, much better, per- 
haps rivaling the Persian walnut in physical form or at least 
in availability of kernels. This can be brought about by delib- 
erately breeding the best black walnuts we can find and hybrid- 
izing them with other species of walnuts. 

The American nation should have two or three persons em- 
ployed on this task of testing out several thousands of these 
hybridized seedlings of promising ancestry. Much time could 
be saved by grafting these young seedlings on to mature trees 
and thus bringing them to fruit sooner than by waiting for 
them to grow large enough to produce nuts on their own tops. 

12 Prof. G. E. Condra, University of Nebraska, reports that there are at 
least a few black walnut trees in every county of Nebraska, 




The black walnut has great possibilities as a food producer. 
Take the case of the parent Stabler tree. "About fifteen bush- 
els of nuts every other year." To be safe call it an average 
of six bushels a year; call it ten pounds of meats per bushel 
or sixty pounds per year. 

The food values of these can be seen by studying the food 
table (page 304) and then comparing the food yields of some 
other crops, especially pasture, because pasture produces meat, 
the rival of nuts in the production of protein as food. The 
good pasture of England or Illinois gives about one hundred 
and fifty pounds live weight of mutton or beef. Of this nearly 
half is waste in slaughter, and there is considerable waste in 
the meat. Therefore, sixty pounds per year of nut meats from 
the Stabler tree come close in actual pounds of edible food to 
the product of an acre of blue grass. 13 

The nutrition value of the nut meats is nearly four times 
as great as that of the meat from the acre of grass. There is 
room for five such trees to an acre, and there would still be 
the possibility of further produce from the same land. Mr. 
S. W. Snyder, Center Point, Iowa, knows of trees that are ap- 
parently more productive than the Stabler. 

"Grass grows well beneath black walnut because of its deep 
root system and its thin open foliage, which casts only a light 
shade." 14 

Mr. James Dixon, land owner and bank president, Easton, 
Maryland, says that wheat beneath walnut trees seems to be 
actually better, and Mr. Ford Wilkinson, of Rockport, In- 
diana, says, "A catch of red clover can be gotten under a black 
walnut tree almost any season whether ground has been limed 
or not." 

13 There is a noticeable resemblance here between the French equivalence 
in the rental of an acre of land and a walnut tree (page 167). 

14 United States Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin No. 1392, 
p. 8. 



The cost of extracting the kernels of the walnuts from an 
acre of land is probably more than that of slaughtering and 
dressing the meat from an acre of land. However, I am not 
certain of this. But now machinery is being developed for the 
black walnut, as it has been developed for the California wal- 
nut industry — for example, the important discovery (see U. S. 
Department of Agriculture) that a restaurant potato-peeling 
machine and a small hose stream of water take the black and 
dirty hulls off black walnuts and clean the nuts at a rapid 
rate. Perhaps this in conjunction with some kind of a mechan- 
ical crusher might open a market for inferior black walnuts 
for poultry food on the farm, the chickens picking out the 



In the preceding chapters I have given much space to pre- 
senting facts about two species of walnuts and the philosophy 
of the subject in general. In brief this is — (1) Find the best 
existing strains, and we have the basis of a good industry now. 
(2) Breed better strains by crossing and hybridizing, and we 
have the basis of a better industry. 

This philosophy is applicable in varying degrees to each of 
the other species of walnuts which are as follows: 

(1) Butternut, juglans cinera. 

(2) California walnut, juglans californica. 

(3) Texas walnut, juglans rupestris. 

(4) Arizona walnut, juglans major. 

(5) Chinese walnut, juglans regia var. sinensis. 

(6) Siberian walnut, juglans mandshurica. 

(7) Japanese walnut, juglans sieboldiana, var. cordiformis, 
sometimes called "heart nut." 

The space limitations of this book prohibit full discussion 
of these several species, but I wish to emphasize a few points 
of especial significance. 

The butternut (number one above) grows in colder cli- 
mate " than the black walnut, ranging from James Bay to 

1 For a fuller discussion of various species see Nut Growing, by Robert 
T. Morris, Macmillan. There is of course always Sargent's Silva, for an 
exhaustive presentation of questions of variety. 

* 1922 Proceedings of Northern Nut Growers' Association, p. 72, J. A. 
Neilson, Professor Horticulture, Port Hope, Ontario, says, "The butternut 
is much hardier than the black walnut and has a much wider distribution 
in Canada. It occurs throughout New Brunswick, in Quebec, along the St. 
Lawrence basin, and in Ontario from the shore of Lakes Erie and Ontario 




New Brunswick, thence along the higher Appalachians to 
northern Georgia and Alabama. The kernels of the better 
specimens come out of the shell more easily than do those of 
black walnuts. The butternut offers interesting crop possibili- 
ties for the northern section of the United States. Some people 
prefer its nuts to the black walnut. A selected grafted variety, 
the Deming, is reported by J. F. Jones, Lancaster, Pennsyl- 
vania, to bear when it is two feet high. 

The Chinese walnut (number five above) was long classified 
as a separate species, but botanists have now become con- 
vinced that it is merely a variety (suggestive fact) of the Per- 
sian walnut. Therefore, it has been discussed, either directly 
or by implication, in Chapter XVI. 

The Japanese walnut is a species of exceeding promise. In 
its native home it grows throughout the climatic range 3 of 
Japan, embracing climates as dissimilar as those of Nova 
Scotia and Georgia and all between, and accentuated by the 
reeking humidity of the Japanese summer with its strong fun- 
gus tendencies. 

The tree also thrives in a great range of soil from sand to 
clay. Apparently it is a veritable goat in its feeding habits. 
This makes it a very rapid grower, and in rich soils a single 
leaf is sometimes a yard long. (See Fig. 83.) 

It is precocious, some seedlings producing fruits at four or 
five years of age. 

It bears its fruit in long clusters and is very prolific. 4 

to the Georgian Bay and Ottawa River. It has been planted in Manitoba 
and does fairly well there when protected from cold winds. West of Portage 
la Prairie the writer observed a grove of seventy-seven trees. Some of these 
were about thirty-five feet tall with a trunk diameter of ten inches and 
had borne several crops of good nuts." 

3 James Neilson reports (personal conversation) Japanese walnut, heart 
nuts. Seed planted in the spring of 1924 at Winnipeg. July 20, 1927, tall- 
est tree was twelve feet high, one and one-half inches in diameter. They 
are also growing nicely at St. Anne's in Quebec near the mouth of the 
Ottawa River. 

4 "In a not especially favorable location in Sharp's backyard at Riverton, 
New Jersey, is a fifteen-year-old Japanese walnut, which receives no espe- 



The wood, unfortunately, is soft and of little value, but we 
can scarcely expect one tree to have all the virtues until after 
breeding work has been done. 

The Japanese walnut merits much attention at the hands 
of plant breeders. It is at present in rather bad repute because 
ignorant or unprincipled nurserymen have scattered its seed- 
lings widely over the United States, calling it the English wal- 
nut; but the specimens were only seedlings of no particular 
merit. The result of this deception has been to dampen the 
ardor of many planters. Other nurserymen, in good faith, sold 
seedling trees produced from nuts borne on Japanese walnut 
trees in this country. These trees turned out to be hybrids that 
could scarcely be distinguished from butternuts. They had re- 
sulted from the very active hybridizing susceptibilities of Japa- 
nese trees growing within the wind-blown pollen range of but- 
ternut trees. It seems almost as if the Japanese walnut chooses 
butternut pollen rather than its own if it has the chance. 

The heart nut, of which grafted trees are now available in 

cial encouragement but produces annually four bushels of nuts." (Letter, 
Joseph H. Willits, Professor of Industry, University of Pennsylvania, 
October 10, 1912.) 

"We found that the Japanese walnut was happy from the start, and three 
years after planting produced an abundance of nuts combining the good 
qualities of both the American butternut and the black walnut, with meat 
much thicker than the butternut and not nearly so oily, an improvement on 
the black walnut and butternut as well, and a vast improvement on these 
trees in respect to leafing, as the Jap is one of the earliest trees to put out 
its leaves in the spring, far ahead of the black walnut of equal size and at 
a much more tender age. It is one of the most interesting trees we have 
because of its bloom at the end of the branches and its marvelously long, 
plump catkins scattered along the trunk, and the nuts, instead of being 
formed singly, are produced on long stems like an elongated bunch of 
grapes, having as many as twenty-two nuts on a stalk." (Long Island 
Agronomist, Vol. VI, No. 6, January 1, 1913.) 

"Mrs. R. S. Purdy, 218 South Willard Avenue, Phoebus, Virginia, has the 
j. seiboldiana sample I sent you. The year that I was at Lancaster (1912) 
I visited this tree; it was then eighteen years old and bore that year sixteen 
bushels of shelled or rather hulled nuts. . . . 

"They grow in clusters of twenty-four nuts. The tree was planted by a 
little girl twenty years ago from a nut she got from a sailor at Old Point 
Comfort. The tree is about a foot in diameter. It is very powerfully 
rooted." (Letter, G. H. Corsan, University of Toronto, December 23, 1914.) 



several nurseries, is merely a variety of the Japanese walnut. 
Some heart nut trees produce nuts whose kernel comes out in 
one piece — a fact of great commercial significance. 

Consider the easy hybridization of the various species of 
walnut with each other. Consider this in connection with all 
the qualities above mentioned as well as the fact that Japa- 
nese and Manchurian and Chinese specimens come from sec- 
tions of Asia having cold winters and hot humid summers. 

In view of these considerations it seems to be clear that we 
have the opportunity of making a great number of walnut 
hybrid varieties suited to a great number of climates and con- 
ditions. It may be easily within the possibilities that we can 
produce some kind of walnut to be grown especially for pig 
and poultry food. 

5 "You will be interested to know that a letter from Dr. Edwin D. Weed, 
Duluth College, Duluth, Minnesota, states that Chinese walnut trees I sent 
him went through the winter 1925-26 well and are growing vigorously. 
These were from ten thousand feet elevation in North China. (The seed)." 
(Letter, J. F. Jones, 1927.) 

j . 




The hickories are a great family of food producers. They 
will be even greater in the future if scientific agriculture pre- 

The pecan is, at present, the king of the hickory family, and 
affords an excellent and nearly completed case to illustrate 
the idea that wild trees can become the basis of new crops. 

The pecan has passed rapidly through a number of interest- 
ing stages in its utilization by man. 

1. It started as a wild tree, covering a large area and pro- 
ducing large quantities of fruit mostly unused by man. 

2. Trees of superior producing quality were selected out 
of the mass of mediocrity, and the attempt was made to propa- 
gate them by planting seed. 

3. Seedlings from superior trees produced many variations 
(Fig. 90), and almost without exception these seedlings were 
inferior to the mother tree. The result was paralysis of human 
enthusiasm and general neglect of the species. 

4. The technique of propagation was worked out. Then in 
a manner exactly comparable to the development of varieties 
in apples, selected trees were propagated, giving rise to named 
varieties such as Stuart, San Saba, Schley, Busseron, Butter- 
ick, et cetera. 

5. Grafted and budded pecan trees were planted by the 
hundreds of thousands. Orchards were developed. An industry 
was achieved. 

The new industry gave proof of its reality by a product 
worth millions of dollars; a national association of growers; a 





widespread attempt to control diseases and pests and to solve 
the cultural problems; establishment of a national pecan ex- 
periment station; various state experiment stations to study 
the industry; and finally a flock of bulletins from many states 
and from the United States Department of Agriculture. 

6. A final stage of the industry has been reached with 
laboratories for research and experimentation as to the use of 
the product, and their natural accompaniment of factories for 
the manufacture of pecan foods for distribution by bottle, car- 
ton, and can. This puts it in the rank of established American 
food industries. 

The pecan has arrived. It is not merely prospective or pos- 
sible as is the case with so many of the things discussed in 
this book. 

The industrial record includes one more phase so typical of 
new and alluring American industries, namely promotion, 
speculation, and swindling enterprises. The pecan has been a 
shining example of this. Yet more, the bringing forward of 
the pecan has developed a substantial mythology which still 
has its faithful believers, especially as to where the pecan 
grows and will grow. 


Before the white man began to spread the pecan, it was a 
native tree of a large part of the Mississippi basin south of 
Iowa. It also grew in the valleys of Texas and the adjacent 
parts of Mexico. 1 

Eastward of the Mississippi the pecan was found through 
central Kentucky and Tennessee and in a few parts of Ala- 

'The pecan was found on the Ohio River from southern Ohio west- 
ward; up the Mississippi to southeastern Iowa; and thence southward al- 
most to the mouth of the Father of Waters. In the Missouri River valley it 
reached the extreme northwestern corner of the state of Missouri. Thence 
southwestward across eastern Kansas, extending into this state about one 
hundred and twenty-five miles along the southern boundary. Pecans lined 
the streams in the greater part of Oklahoma, almost all of the streams of 
Texas, and on into Mexico. 


FIG. 8" Some life-size hickories, suggestive of breeding possibilities. 
(1) Wild shagbark. Pa. (2) Shagbark x bitternut. la. (3) (4) Pecan x 
hickory hybrids. Mo. (6) McAllister hybrid. Ind. Western shellbark 
(12) x (8 or 9) Indiana pecans. (7) Southern pecan (Schley $1.00 a pound, 
1928.) (10) Wild Illinois pecan. (11) Nebraska pecan. (12) Laciniosa. 

1 1V'*1 

1 1 H 

1 1 1 




FIG. 86. Top Left. A Busseron pecan tree, nine years transplanted, 
bearing 18 pounds of nuts, its third crop. Southern Indiana. (Photo J. 
Ford Wilkinson.) — FIG. 87. Top Right. Pecan tree growing along the 
curb in Raleigh, N. C, bearing a fine crop. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) — 
FIG. 88. Bottom Left. Life-size Butterick pecan nuts, an Illinois variety, 
grafted 1914, gathered 1918. Climate of Philadelphia.— FIG. 89. Bottom 
Right. Pecan tree in park at Hartford, about seventy years old; south- 
ern seed; 10 feet in circumference; about 80 feet in height. (Photo 
William C. Deming.) — A very vigorous pecan tree from Georgia, U.S.A., 
is growing by Lake Ontario near Grimsby, Ontario. 

FIG. 90. Top. Some of the offspring grown from seeds from one tree. 
This picture proves the worthlessness of planting seedlings and suggests 
valuable results to be obtained by plant breeding. (Courtesy Journal of 
Heredity.) — FIG. 91. Bottom. Tree crop land. Rich hills of southern 
Ohio. Excellent for oaks, hickories, pecans, mulberries, persimmons, honey 
locusts, cherries, and many other crop trees. Land now almost unproduc- 
tive. We have millions of hills like this. (Photo F. H. Ballou.) 



bama. Altogether the area within these boundaries includes 
something over a half million square miles, including parts of 
thirteen states. 

Over this area there were many millions of wild trees. Mr. 
E. J. Kyle, Professor of Horticulture in Texas, claims seventy- 
five millions of wild trees in that state. For an unknown time 
these and previous millions of pecan trees have been produc- 
ing hundreds of millions of pounds of nutritious crops. They 
went to decay or for the food of wild animals and to some ex- 
tent to feed the American Indian. 8 



Pecan trees of great size bearing excellent nuts grow wild in 
the Ohio valley, but by chance the pecan received earlier and 
more attention in the South than in the North. Accordingly it 
spread more rapidly eastward through the South than through 
the North. As a part of the pecan mythology it may be stated 
that as late as 1910 the belief was widespread that the pecan 
would grow only in the South, and there was no reason to 
expect its expansion north of the Cotton Belt. 4 

This belief in Cotton Belt exclusiveness is an example of 
the ease with which patent error survives. For the first settlers 
of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri found on their lowlands thou- 
sands of pecan trees from two to three feet in diameter and 
one hundred feet high. It was and is a common practice to 
leave them when clearing. Many stand in cornfields today. 
Stately pecan trees planted by George Washington in 1775 or- 

Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, 
Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. 

During the regime of the tribal leaders in the old Seminole Nation in 
Seminole County, Oklahoma, they had a law that fined a person five dol- 
lars or more for mutilating a pecan tree. {American Nut Journal, August, 
1927, p. 29.) 

That statement is still made by people who are supposed to be intelli- 
gent. American Nut Journal, April, 1927, p. 56. 




nament the lawn of his home at Mount Vernon.' Large, beau- 
tiful, healthy pecan trees are scattered through northern Vir- 
ginia, northern Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania, in a 
climate typified by that of Philadelphia. 

5 According to the Proceedings of the Northern Nut Growers' Associa- 
tion, 1925, p. 98, Thomas Jefferson presented George Washington with some 
pecan nuts which he planted with his own hand around Mount Vernon, 
March 25, 1775. According to the late C. S. Sargent, director of the famous 
Arnold Arboretum, these trees, now respectively 86, 97, and 98 feet high, 
"probably have not lived out half their lives." 

De Courset, a Frenchman who served with Washington, left a record 
that "the celebrated gentleman always had his pockets full of these nuts, 
and he was constantly eating them." It is amazing and also suggestive to 
know that Washington's fruitful diary speaks of them as paccane or Illi- 
nois nuts. 

6 I know a pecan tree near Hughesville, in Loudoun County, Virginia, 
forty-five miles northwest of Washington, at an elevation of five hundred 
feet, in a climate almost identical with that of Philadelphia, except that it 
has greater extremes of cold ( — 30° F.). That tree is about eight feet in 
circumference, eighty feet high, with a spread of seventy feet, bearing fruit 
and according to the oldest inhabitant of a generation now gone, it is about 
a hundred years old. A few miles away at the county seat of Leesburg 
there is another old pecan tree with a girth of eight feet four inches and 
with a spread of ninety feet. 

Harry R. Weber, of Cincinnati, Ohio, reports a southern pecan tree about 
one hundred years old at Lebanon, thirty miles northeast of Cincinnati, 
girth twelve feet eleven inches, spread ninety-three feet, height eighty feet. 

The Illinois origin of a perfectly healthy specimen at Mont Alto, Penn- 
sylvania, altitude 1,100 feet, raises the interesting question of the origin 
of many of these northern pecan trees of great size. 

"In the village of Mont Alto, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a tree is 
growing with the following data: 

Diameter breast high (D.B.H.) 22 inches; total height, 55 feet; clear 
length of trunk, 15 feet; height of crown, 40 feet; width of crown, 40 feet; 
age, 47 years. 

"This tree bears fruit every year. The quantity is, however, small con- 
sidering the size of the tree. The owner said the yield was about seven 
quarts above the amount that his own and his neighbors' children ate. I 
must admit that I would not wish to estimate the annual consumption by the 
children. I was told by a reliable person that this tree grew from a small 
tree that was brought from Illinois by a son of the then owner of the 
property. The son was later elected mayor of Quincy, Illinois, but as to 
whether he got the tree at or near Quincy, Illinois, I am not able to say." 
(J. L. Illick (now State Forester), Mont Alto, Franklin County, Pennsyl- 
vania, Pennsylvania Department of Forestry, State Forest Academy, June 5, 


A tree at Colemansville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is nine feet, ten 
inches in circumference at two feet from the ground, stands on a rocky 



Easton, Maryland, contains the largest planted pecan tree 
known: 7 girth (1920) 15 feet breast high; reach 129 x 138. 
In 1927 it measured 16 feet, 1 inch girth at 4 feet, 6 inches. 

There is a pecan tree at Sayville, Long Island, on the estate 
of Morris J. Terry which is "45 years old, having a diameter 
of about two feet and bearing annually." 8 

In a park in Hartford, Connecticut, there is a pecan tree 
ten feet in circumference, perfectly hardy. It was planted as a 
nut in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmstead. It ripened at least 
one nut in the season of 1923.' It ripened that nut because 
Dr. W. C. Deming fertilized the blossom by hand with bitter- 
nut pollen, a very significant fact. 

The pecan is a native of North America. Therefore, it is 
accustomed to spring frosts by hundreds of thousands of 
years' experience. Therefore, it sleeps late in the spring. There- 
fore, it can survive winters in places where the summer will 
let it ripen its fruit rarely or possibly not at all. Hence such 
surprising facts as these: (1) Thrifty trees at Michigan Agri- 
cultural College, East Lansing, grown from Iowa seed planted 

hillside, and is reported to be bearing well. (Facts from J. F. Jones, Lan- 
caster, Pennsylvania.) 

7 Information, C. A. Reed, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 

On Spesutia Island in the Chesapeake Bay, latitude 39° 15' is "a giant 
one hundred and six feet tall. It has a spread of one hundred and ten 
feet. It has two limbs, respectively fifty-seven and sixty feet long, and is 
thirteen feet in circumference, three feet from the ground. It is an annual 
bearer of thin-shelled nuts that, though rather small now, are mighty good 
to eat." 

"A seedling from this tree is eighty feet tall with an equal spread and 
is a particularly beautiful tree, — when I saw it there were two or three 
nuts on nearly every twig end. They are fair size too, very thin-shelled, 
and very pleasant-tasted." (Extract from newspaper article, by Wilmer 
Hoopes, Forest Hill, Md., information from Robert H. Smith, Spesutia 
Island, Perryman, Md., January 23, 1915.) 

8 Long Island Agronomist, published for a time by the Long Island 

' Information from Dr. W. C. Deming, long time Secretary of the 
Northern Nut Growers' Association. The tree would probably produce 
abundant crops except for a habit very common among pecans, namely 
that its pistillate blossoms do not mature at the same time as do its stami- 
nate blossoms. 


by Liberty H. Bailey. (2) Trees grown from western Texas 
seed, latitude 35° 30', longitude 100° W. enduring —20° F. in 
latitude 39° in northern Virginia, 10 but not ripening seed. (3) 
Trees from Iowa seed ripening nuts at Lincoln, Nebraska. (4) 
Pecan trees thriving and ripening seed (rarely) fifteen miles 
north of Toronto, Canada; also trees from Georgia seed thriv- 
ing in southern Ontario." (5) Very surprising is a communica- 
tion from J. U. Gellatly, Westbank, British Columbia (Ameri- 
can Nut Journal, April, 1928, p. 65), reporting successful fruit- 
ing of good pecans five years after planting in the orchard. 
This is at an elevation of 1500 feet in the Okanogan Valley. 
(6) Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is a thrifty pecan tree at 
Fairhaven, Vermont, latitude 43° north, altitude 530 feet. This 
tree is the lone survivor of many attempts by Mr. Zenas Ellis, 
an enthusiastic private experimenter. It blooms, but being 
alone it does not set fruit. It is very suggestive breeding ma- 

All these facts go to show that the pecan has great possibili- 
ties as a shade tree in a large area where it cannot be a com- 

10 Shortly before the year 1900, Mr. Thomas Hughes, a schoolmate of 
mine, sent some pecan nuts from his home in Sweetwater, Texas, latitude 
35° 20' north, longitude 100° 20' west, to Mr. A. B. Davis, nurseryman of 
Purcellville, Loudoun County, Virginia, Philadelphia climate. Trees from 
this seed seem to be perfectly hardy, but seldom if ever have time enough 
in which to ripen their fruit. When topworked to good Indiana varieties, 
they bear in four or five years and ripen the nuts nicely. 

1 ' James Neilson, Professor of Horticulture, Port Hope, Ontario, tells 
me of a thirty-foot pecan tree from Georgia seed growing on the farm of 
Theron Wolverton, Grimsby, Ontario; of one thirty-five feet in height at 
Simcoe, Ontario, on the farm of Lloyd Vanderburg, who brought the seed 
in person from Missouri; of a group of five trees at Richmond Hill, On- 
tario, thirty-five feet high, fifty years old, standing in sod with no atten- 
tion, seed from southern Indiana. 

Young grafted northern pecan trees are doing well and enduring ten de- 
grees below zero on the farm of John Morgan at Niagara-on-the-Lake, 

Professor Neilson also reports, p. 25, Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 
ciation Annual Report, 1923, pecan trees fifty years old, thirty-five feet tall, 
perfectly hardy on the farm of C. R. Jones, at Richmond Hill, fifteen 
miles north of Toronto, latitude 43.45° north. They rarely ripen, but in the 
year 1919 did do so. I have seen these trees. They are fine. 



mercial dependence, but may produce an occasional crop. It 
is a beautiful and majestic shade tree, with alluring possibili- 
ties through hybridization. 

Another piece of pecan mythology is to the effect that the 
pecan is limited not only to the Cotton Belt but to alluvial soil. 
Most people east of the Mississippi believed this in 1910. Per- 
haps this piece of mythology spread eastward from the West. 
It is true in the southwestern pecan country because in many 
parts of Kansas and Oklahoma and Texas natural tree growth 
is limited to the valleys, " beautifully pecan -bowered valleys 
reaching back with their long ribbons of green through the up- 
land pastures of the hills yellow and brown with drought. 

There was small reason for the people east of the Missis- 
sippi to believe the alluvium myth. 

Mr. J. B. Garrett, Assistant Director in charge, North 
Louisiana Station, Louisiana State University, wrote me, July 
22, 1913: 

12 In a large part of the Texas area good tree growth of any species is 
limited to the river valleys in an area where the upland is often too dry 
for agriculture or good forest. Indeed the river valleys of a great area in 
central and western Texas are forest islands nursed by the waters of the 
adjacent streams and nearly or quite surrounded by slightly arid land. In 
places one can stand on a plateau with a rocky shallow soil a hundred feet 
or more above the stream. On this height the rainfall of twenty or twenty- 
five inches will support only a scrubby growth of drought-resisting scrub 
trees, but from this point one can look down into the valley which a stream 
has carved from the plateau. Because of the moisture from the stream its 
banks and flood plain are covered with magnificent trees, among them tens 
of thousands of pecans. These pecan islands reach far back, almost to the 
headwaters of the streams that drain the Edwards Plateau in west central 

William A. Taylor, Chief Bureau, United States Department of Agri- 
culture, Washington, D. C, wrote me January 14, 1920: 

"A cousin of my father, who located in what was then Tom Greene, a 
county of approximately the size of Massachusetts, told me thirty years ago 
that pecans were being wagoned to San Angelo from points 100 to 120 
miles further up the north fork of the Concho and its tributaries. (Lati- 
tude 32° north, longitude 102° west.) . . . 

"Seventy-five miles to the southeast of Sweetwater at Coleman, . . . 
and at Brownwood, a little farther east, it, the pecan, is or was altogether 
the dominant river and creek bottom tree twenty years ago, and I presume 
it is still a conspicuous feature of the landscape." 


"We have scattering seedling pecans growing on all of the 
different types of soils in the state of Louisiana; and while 
they do not grow so large on the poor hill lands, some of 
them bear good quantities of nuts." 

Testimony as to the upland growth of the pecan east of 
the Mississippi River can be piled up almost indefinitely. 

A great many of the large trees of the North and East, in- 
cluding most of those previously mentioned, are on upland. 

In my experimental nursery on a slope of the Blue Ridge 
Mountains, fifteen miles southwest of Harpers Ferry, two va- 
rieties of pecans (Busseron and Butterick) bore well-developed 
nuts three years l4 after they were grafted. They did this in the 
cool season of 1926. Soil is one thing, but frost is another. 
Late frosts are as deadly to pecans as to most other blooming 
plants. Hence the following advice from one of the pioneer 
pecan experimenters, Mr. T. P. Littlepage, who has an or- 
chard between Washington, D. C, and Baltimore, "Under no 
circumstances should northern nut trees be set on low land. 
The northern pecan on my farm is just as subject to frost as 
peaches or more so. As a result I do not think I will have a 
peck of pecans this year on thirty acres. But I am equally 
sure that were they on nice high peach land, the average suc- 
cessful crops would be equal to those of peaches or apples." 

13 Mr. B. T. Bethune, Georgia, wrote in the Rural New Yorker, Febru- 
ary 3, 1912: 

"In Middle Georgia in the 'Red old hills of Georgia' underlaid with 
granite, we have pecan trees more than three feet in diameter three feet 
above ground whose branches reach a height of seventy feet, with a spread 
of sixty feet, and which have born successive crops without a single failure 
for three-quarters of a century. . . ." 

Elsewhere in his article Mr. Bethune speaks of a tree from which over 
nine bushels of nuts had been sold. "That tree grew on a poor ridge in the 
pine woods a few miles south of this city." Alas, I cannot learn what city. 

"On the grounds of the Mimosa Hotel, near Tryon, North Carolina, there 
is a seedling pecan tree that bears well. The elevation is about 1,200 feet." 
(The Pecan and Its Culture, G. Harold Hume, p. 21.) 

14 These trees were eight to ten feet high and about one tree in fifty or 
sixty bore fruit. 



The facts about the pecan seem to be that it was native to 
alluvium; therefore, having had opportunity to get food eas- 
ily, it has not developed ability to fight for food in less favor- 
able locations. The pecan, therefore, needs deep friable and 
moderately moist soil such as would naturally produce a forest 
of white oak, hickory, and walnut trees. 

With soil, as with probably everything else, continued ex- 
perience will probably disclose new problems. 10 


After fifteen years of experimenting with it and submitting 
it to many rough tests, 17 I find that the transplanted pecan 

W. C. Reed and Son, of Indiana, are pioneer experimenters with 
grafted northern pecans. They report as follows on their 1926 crop: 

"Crop varied from twenty to fifty pounds per tree; think two trees bore 
seventy-five pounds each. 

"Trees were planted twelve years ago on high clay land. 

"They have been cultivated regularly. 

"Were not fertilized, but were on good, strong land. 

"Trees are from thirty to thirty-five feet tall." 

Mr. Reed sold these nuts to nearby grocers at thirty cents a pound. 

J. Ford Wilkinson, Rockport, Indiana, another pioneer, reports, letter, 
January 26, 1928, "My budded pecan trees growing on high-land clay soil 
are bearing remarkably well; in fall of 1926 transplanted trees from 10 to 
13 years old produced from 25 to 85 pounds of nuts each, younger trees 
bore accordingly, some 5- to 6-year-old trees not transplanted produced from 
5 to 10 pounds each. 

"These trees are growing on good land, are fairly well cultivated, but 
have never been fertilized." 

16 "I am sending you the record of one row of eighteen trees that illus- 
trates the utter impossibility of conveying precious facts briefly. 

Year 10. 

Average of first six trees 13. 

Average of last six trees Vi 

"Here is the interesting fact that, because of the difference in the soil at 
one end of this row from that at the other, there is the difference of a 
profit or a loss. This difference was not to be discovered by the average 
man, for the land appeared to be much the same, and only years of careful 
observation have made clear the importance of selecting orchard soils with 
infinite care." (Letter, Mr. C. A. VanDuzee, Cairo, Georgia, May 11, 1927.) 

17 In 1916 I planted bunches of pecan seed and black walnut seed to- 















tree needs distinctly more petting in its early stages than the 
apple tree. In contrast to this the seedlings are very tough. 

The pecan can scarcely be called a tender tree. Once it is 
established its great root system makes it hard to kill. 18 Mr. 
Ford Wilkinson, of Rockport, Indiana, reports three-foot seed- 
lings with roots nine feet long. Unfortunately the blossoms are 
not as hardy as the trees. I have not tabulated the record, but 
I have noticed that in some seasons a combination of weather 
factors will kill pecans, walnuts, and hickories, while apples 
and peaches come through with fair crops. 


In its wild condition the pecan is a tempting tree. I am sur- 
prised that we have neglected it so long. It was an important 
asset to the early settlers of the central Mississippi Basin. In 

gether in the blue grass (clay soil, good for about thirty-five bushels of 
corn per acre) along my upland lane in Loudoun County, Virginia, alti- 
tude 750 feet. They were not fertilized, cultivated, or in any way protected. 
It was a test. Both species were able to fight it out with the grass and 
make a high percentage of survival. In the dryer places it took the seed- 
lings ten years to get five feet high, but they were very stocky and by the 
end of the decade they had begun to grow more rapidly. There is little 
doubt that most of the pecans will eventually become large trees if let 
alone. Where clumps of blackberry bushes invaded the grass, the trees are 
larger than the others. Grass is a deadly enemy to small trees and in some 
cases it may smother them fatally in the infant stage. 

18 An orchard of fine- looking trees has this history: 

"This grove is located at New Harmony, Indiana, and was the first pecan 
grove planted in this state, and it has had a varied history. The seed was 
saved from a very fine pecan by John B. Elliotte of New Harmony and 
planted in the fall of 1876. Trees were grown in Elliotte's Nursery for two 
years and then planted in the grove by Jacob Dransfield. The first winter 
after setting the rabbits cut them all back to the ground. They came up 
nicely the next spring, and Mr. Dransfield, to keep the rabbits off, set a 
four-inch drain tile over each one, and as they grew and the wind switched 
them around, it cut every one of them off; so that the damage was the 
same as that done by the rabbits. Mr. Dransfield then gave it up. After the 
Ohio River had overflowed several times, he paid no attention to the trees 
for several years but cultivated the land in corn. The pecans, however, were 
not so easily gotten rid of and kept coming up each season until finally 
they let them grow and the grove is the result." (Letter, W. C. Reed, 
Vincennes, Indiana, June 19, 1916, who said information was from Mr. 
Elliotte's son and Mrs. Dransfield, who were still living.) 



the valley of the lower Ohio, as in the vicinity around Evans - 
ville, there are almost solid forests of pecan. I have seen one 
tree there six feet in diameter; I have seen them towering 
twenty or perhaps thirty feet above the top of the white oak 
forest. This locality is one of many. 

Occasional trees are very productive and yield nuts of fine 
flavor. Mr. J. F. Wilkinson, of Rockport, Indiana, an intelli- 
gent and careful observer, says: 

"I have gathered the crop from a particular tree four years 

"Up to four or five years ago wild pecan trees were very abundant 
along all the streams in certain sections in southwestern Missouri, particu- 
larly Bates County. They were so abundant that it was the practice of many 
rural residents to harvest the pecans in the fall by cutting down the trees. 
... In many a wood-chopper's cabin these wild pecans filled an important 
place in the dietary of the family. The same was true with the early set- 
tlers along the bottom lands of the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers in 
the state of Missouri. Within my own recollection I have known cases 
where families looked upon their winter supply of nuts, including the wild 
hazel nut, black walnuts, and pecans, as necessities rather than luxuries. Of 
course, this order of things is entirely changed now except in remote 
regions." (Letter from W. L. Howard, Assistant Professor of Pomology 
at the University of California, January 16, 1917.) 

Professor C. J. Posey, University of Kansas, tells me that between 
1881 and 1886, when he was a boy, on the Kaskaskia bottoms fifty miles 
east of St. Louis, the land law was that each man had to fence his own 
crops against roving stock. The bottoms were open, chiefly wooded, and it 
was customary to let the hogs run. The farmers would gather up the sows 
and pigs in the spring before the young had left their mothers. Each owner 
marked his own with his particular brand, usually nicking their ears. He 
would let them run, giving them a little feed so that they would stay 
within reach. In the autumn the young were nearly as wild as deer and 
were sometimes ready to be slaughtered without feeding but were fed a 
little at the edge of the clearing to keep them within reach. 

"With a little corn for bait, the farmer would go to the rail fence at the 
edge of the clearing and holler. With merry grunts up gallops your year's 
meat supply 1" 

No wonder the early settlers of Illinois settled in the timbered lands 
along the streams and thought the prairie worthless. (See J. Russell Smith, 
North America, p. 297.) By 1918 all this had changed. Each man had to 
fence in his own stock and waste became property. 

As late as 1910 some persons known to Professor Posey were making ten 
dollars or fifteen dollars a day gathering pecans, then the nuts became so 
valuable that the owners began to keep the people away from their trees. 

As boys Professor Posey and his brother gathered ten to fifteen bushels 
of hickory nuts in a day. 



as follows: 1906 — eight bushels; 1908 — six bushels; 1910 — 
twelve bushels; 1912 — nine bushels; making thirty-five bush- 
els in all. The tree is an every-other-year bearer, but has borne 
lighter crops of from one to three bushels in its off years; and 
as far back as I have known the tree, it has borne a good crop 
every other year and a light one between. After 1912 the land 
changed hands and the owner has gathered this tree, but kept 
no definite record except the crop of 1922, which was 600 
pounds." This tree was 90 feet high, 100 feet spread, trunk 
four feet in diameter. An acre could only hold three of them. 

Such trees are not very common, but there have probably 
been thousands like it; and there are now probably hundreds 
of them alive and bearing at this moment. 

An observer in Texas says, "Native trees here have a habit 
of producing a full crop about once in two years. Many native 
trees have a record of over five hundred pounds' production in 
one year." 20 Claims apparently authentic are made for trees 
that yield a thousand pounds and even more. 21 The variation 
in the yield of supposedly meritorious trees under definite test 

20 F. R. Brison, County Agent, Cooperative Extension Work in Agricul- 
tural and Home Economics. San Saba, Texas, letter, February 14, 1925. 

21 Mr. M. Hull, Assistant Horticulturist, Louisiana State University, re- 
ports in American Nut Journal, October, 1926, p. 57, that a pecan tree 
twenty feet in circumference, at waist height, is one hundred and fifty 
years old, has a spread of one hundred and thirty-two feet, and has borne 
approximately sixteen hundred pounds of nuts in one season. 

It grows on the farm of G. B. Reuss at Hohan Solms, Louisiana, about 
thirty miles south of Baton Rouge. The local postmaster said, with ap- 
parent sincerity, that it had borne twenty-seven hundred pounds. (Informa- 
tion, Mr. C. A. Reed, U. S. Department of Agriculture.) 

In 1925 Mr. Felix Hermann went before a notary at Bexar, Texas, and 
swore that he had gathered twenty-two hundred pounds of pecans from a 
tree with a spread of two hundred and twenty feet. Commenting on this, 
Mr. F. W. Mally, County Agent, at San Antonio, who had not seen the tree, 
said, "However, I may say that while this is more or less an exceptional 
tree, there are a great number of very large pecan trees along the banks of 
the rivers in this territory. Whether they are as large as this one is not 
known because they have not been measured. It is not unusual for many 
of these large trees to produce from twelve to fifteen hundred pounds of 
nuts in a season, and they would probably reach a ton if they were all gath- 
ered and weighed." 



is truly astounding, ranging in North Carolina from 17 pounds 
to 1,246 pounds per acre. 22 

It is not surprising that man should have a desire to start 
an industry when Nature has given such object lessons all the 
way from Indiana to Texas and from Texas to Georgia. 


The pecan industry started with wild produce, and wild nuts 
are still marketed in large quantity, larger quantity than the 
produce of the grafted orchards. 23 

Texas with her millions of pecan trees is easily the leader 
at the present time, although Albany, Georgia, with a million 

22 Results of pecan variety test at Lower Coastal Plain Station, Willard, 
North Carolina. 

Table 2— Yield Per Acre Per Year (Trees Planted 1906-07) 
(Calculated on Basis of 27 Trees to the Acre) 

1918-17 1918-22 1923-27 1918-27 

No. of 6-year 5 -year 5 -year 10-year 

Variety Trees Period Period Period Period 

Stuart. 28 19 327 386 357 

Schley 19 47 68 285 177 

Van Deman 17 6 56 133 95 

Frotscher. 20-3 145 666 1012 839 

Sweetmeat 1 33 1046 1437 1246 

Teddy 3 7 21 13 17 

Moneymaker. 2 37 537 1008 773 

"These trees have been planted in typical soil in the particular sections 
and have been given good commercial orchard attention such as cultivation 
and cover crops but have not received commercial fertilizers." (Letter, C. D. 
Matthews, Chairman, Department of Horticulture, North Carolina State 
College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh, February 4, 1928.) 

23 In the fall of 1926 one hundred and twenty carloads of wild pecans, 
worth $500,000, were shipped from Gonzales, Texas. They were gathered 
along the San Antonio River and other streams near by. 

"There were more than a hundred people employed for several months 
this past winter and spring in picking and assorting pecans at Durant, Okla- 

"It is estimated that more than five hundred thousand dollars' worth of 
pecans were shipped out of the Red River valley last year, and that Durant 
handled half of the shipment from this territory." (Article on "Durant Nut 
Center," by John M. White, County Agent, in The Oklahoma Extension 
News published at Stillwater, Oklahoma, September, 1927.) 



grafted trees of bearing age within fifty miles, is the greatest 
single center. 

Before the last quarter of the nineteenth century all attempts 
at propagation were limited to planting seed, a practice that 
notoriously results in fruit unlike the planted seed 24 (Figs. 88 
and 90). Then came the conquest of the technique of grafting 
and budding. This was acquired for pecans before it was for 
other nuts. Promptly thereafter the pecan industry started al- 
most like a conflagration. Rundown cotton plantations were 
cheap and crops of cowpeas, velvet beans, and peanuts quickly 
restored the soil. Some of the early pecan plantations were car- 
ried at almost no cost by hogging down crops of legumes and 
corn and oats. 25 

Grafted and budded pecans were planted by the ten thou- 
sands during the first fifteen or twenty years of this century. 
Some of them were planted by near-swindlers who worked 
something like this: 

(1) Get the record performances of individual trees such 
as I have quoted. 

(2) Take a lead pencil and figure on a basis of the biggest 
yield that ever happened on the best tree on record. 

(3) Let the prospectus show a similar yield for each of 
twenty trees to be planted on an acre of ground. 

(4) Have it happen every year, beginning very early. 

(5) Sell the nuts at a pleasing imaginary price. 

The figures are indeed impressive if one does not see the 
following fallacies. The trees do not bear as early in orchards 
as on paper, or as often, or as much, and it is quite impossible 

24 Mr. H. Fillmore Lankford, Princess Anne, Maryland, said, "The nuts 
from my large tree are delicious, as I have said, but nuts grown from seed- 
lings from this tree in some cases are as bitter as quinine, and in other cases 
are as sweet as the nuts from the parent tree." 

25 Careful and intelligent experimenters are working at this problem, and 
I believe the pecan orchard may eventually have all costs but harvest and 
fertilizer carried by the pig that pastures beneath and beside the pecans — 
one or two trees to the acre, page 211. 



for twenty full-grown pecan trees to be accommodated on an 
acre of land. The pecan tree reaches proportions so gigantic 
that an orchard of trees as large as the largest reported would 
require more than an acre of ground per tree; yet the first 
planters put in twenty and often more." 

26 "It is almost a universal mistake to put pecan trees too near together. 
Your idea of having sufficient room for the top of the tree to have sun- 
shine is the correct one. I believe that a good idea is to put trees sixty feet 
apart, which will make twelve trees to the acre. When these begin to crowd, 
remove each alternate diagonal row and the trees will be left equally spaced 
with six trees to the acre. For mature trees this is enough. Furthermore, 
it is as much as the moisture and fertility of the soil will sustain." (Letter, 
Wight Nursery and Orchard Company, Cairo, Georgia, July 8, 1927 — J. B. 
Wight. Mr. Wight is one of the leaders and pioneers in southern pecan 

"The pecan is the largest-growing nut tree under orchard cultivation. 
The average spread of the ordinarily big pecan trees fifty or more years 
old, favorably located, is probably one hundred to one hundred and twenty- 
five feet, although maximum trees of materially greater range are not un- 
usual." (Yearbook, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1926, pp. 571-72.) 

Two such trees could not stand and thrive and bear on an acre. They 
must have sunshine on every branch. 

As long ago as 1914 some bona fide growers began planting four trees to 
the acre, realizing that four big pecan trees would require that much land. 

"My opinion is that at twenty years pecan trees will require at least one- 
eighth of an acre, and more would be better; at thirty years one-fourth of 
an acre, and soon after that one or two trees to the acre would be quite 

"By cutting out every other diagonal row of a fifty-foot planting we 
have about eight trees left, and by cutting out the alternate trees we would 
have four. Later on one or more of the least desirable might be removed. I 
feel that we are suffering greater loss today from crowding in our older 
orchards than we realize." (Letter, Judson Orchard Farm, Cairo, Georgia, 
July 24, 1927. C. A. VanDuzee, M.D.) 

As factual basis for this conclusion, Dr. VanDuzee, who has kept an 
amazing lot of actual tree records (facts) gives the following: 

"The outside row (23 trees) has the adjoining field to extend its roots 
into and is exposed to sun and sky on that side; its roots are out in the 
field one hundred feet; it gave us 3,744 pounds of nuts during the last 
five years under my care. 

"The second row, which divides the fifty-foot space between it and the 
first row and a similar space between it and the third row for its root 
pasture, gave us 1,745 pounds of nuts during the same period of time. 

"These trees are of the same variety, were planted at the same time, and 
received practically the same treatment; each tree in the first row has occu- 



A national magazine had in June, 1910, as part of a full 
page advertisement the following: 

"Surest Pecan Land. A pecan grove of five acres nets $2,500 
yearly. No work — no worry — no loss of crop and little cost of 
upkeep. . . . 

"The paper-shell pecan tree begins bearing at two years, 
produces fifty to two hundred pounds of nuts at seven years, 
and two hundred to two hundred and fifty pounds at ten years, 
increases yearly thereafter, and lives to the age of one hun- 
dred years in North Florida. Five acres will keep the average 
family in comfort the year round." 

And the really curious part of it is that people bought their 
five acres with sweet and innocent faith. For some actual 
facts of production see pages 211, 212. 

It is of course not surprising that the yarns of the near 
swindlers' prospectus should have resulted in little but disap- 
pointment, with each of their acres with its twenty trees, a 
fabulous number, bearing a fabulous crop with fabulous regu- 

Indeed, figures are especially deceptive when one gets to 

multiplying yields per tree by a number of trees per acre. It 

pied a root pasture of 6,250 square feet; the inside trees had but 2,500." 
(Letter, C. A. VanDuzee, Cairo, Georgia, August 11, 1927.) 

In this connection I wish to suggest experiment with various stocks, for 
example such upland pecan stocks as are mentioned on page 202. Surely 
there is no shortage of heat, light, moisture, or fertility. The swamp pecan 
root is perhaps a poor feeder. Is there not a better stock? 

27 Another Chicago vendor of distant lands wrote me in 1912: 

"From a careful investigation the following estimate seems to be a con- 
servative one: 

5A. at 

Age Per Tree Per Acre Per 5 Acres 25c lb. 

Fourth year. 1 lb. 20 lbs. 100 lbs. $25.00 

Eighth year. .45 lbs. 900 lbs. 4,500 lbs. $1,125.00 

Fifteenth year. 220 lbs. 4,400 lbs. 22,000 lbs. $5,500.00 

Twentieth year. 350 lbs, 7,000 lbs, 35,000 lbs. $8,750.00 



is so easy to plant trees too close together both on paper 
and on land. Individual trees perform wonders occasionally, 
but somehow when they are set out in rows and given a term 
of years, they fail to perform every year on the average as the 
rare genius tree does once in a while. George Washingtons 
really are scarce among men and among trees." 

Meanwhile the experts at the Georgia State Experiment 
Station have been sticking to it that one thousand pounds of 
nuts per acre would be a good average. This is a good show- 
ing at food production when compared with the results of 
pasture (page 268) or any other meat production or even with 
grain production (page 305). It is a rich agriculture, and we 
may expect more productive varieties in the future. 

It is not yet time to say whether a well-placed northern 
pecan orchard can do as well as the southern. Perhaps it can. 

Many foolish investors were swindled in the small-unit ab- 

28 There is no excuse for the man who takes a special tree as his basis 
for calculation of yield and then puts an impossible number of them on an 

2 ' Colonel C. A. VanDuzee, Cairo, Georgia, reported at the 1912 meet- 
ing of the Northern Nut Growers' Association that the best Frotcher pecan 
out of four thousand trees in a two hundred and thirty-five acre plantation 
yielded eleven pounds in its seventh summer. I saw this orchard the next 
year growing great crops of cowpeas, peanuts, and corn and hogs, and the 
trees were in a thrifty condition. 

One of the show trees of the South belongs to Mr. J. B. Wight, of 
Cairo, Georgia. It stands in a garden. It has all the room it can use. It 
has been fertilized without stint. 

Dr. C. A. VanDuzee, of Cairo, Georgia, one of the keenest and best in- 
formed students of the pecan said of it (Letter, July 24, 1927): 

"Mr. Wight's big Frotcher is the most fruitful tree I am familiar with. 
It was about eighty feet in height and breadth when I measured it a few 
days ago, and it is said to have given Mr. Wight a net income of over a 
hundred dollars on the average for each of the last ten years. It is esti- 
mated that the tree has a root pasture of two-thirds of an acre of fertile 
soil, and the clear space about it would average nearer forty feet than 

One of the show orchards of the South belongs to Mr. Parker of Thom- 
asville, Georgia. Mr. Parker's orchard, planted with twenty trees to the acre, 
of the same variety as Mr. Wight's, is in a friable soil, stuffed with cow- 
pea humus. These are two petted prizes, a tree and an orchard of the 
Frotcher variety. The record of their production is furnished by the Uni- 
versity of Georgia Bulletin, No. 82, and is as follows and gives a good 


sentee ownership enterprises of the southern pecan boom as 
they were with apples in the Pacific Northwest. That did not 
stop an honest and legitimate development of a large industry 
in the South, prosecuted by bona fide farmers who are looking 
after their crops as a farmer should. 

This industry is of two kinds. East of the Mississippi or- 
chards are planted. In Texas and Oklahoma bushy meadow 
pastures full of young wild pecans are being grafted and 
budded to good varieties. The pecan industry of the cotton 
country has reached the point where it promises crops of such 
large size that the great problem will be to find a market. An 
energetic national organization is struggling with this problem. 

chance to compare the performance of the pet single tree and the trees in a 

pet orchar 


Mr. Parker's 10-acre orchard 


Wight's tree 

(of 200 trees) 

(planted 1892) 

Orchard Average per tree 

5th yr. 1 nut 


1 lbs. 


10.5 " 

. . . .185 lbs. .9 lbs. 


13.5 " 

. . 210 " 1.03 " 


27 ". 


5.69 " 


16 " 

. .699 " 3.49 


45 " 

. . 2,698 " 13.49 


80 " 


121 " 


131 " 


131 " 


96 " 


30 " 


169 " 


352 " 


196 " 


306 " 


196 " 


344 " 

According to the above quoted figures of Dr. VanDuzee, this tree is prob- 
ably occupying one-half acre as effectively as four trees could. Its reach 
was 84 by 71 at twenty-one years of age. 

Theodore Bechtel, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, reports a tree in his gar- 
den that averaged 115 pounds for the period of its 10th to 20th years and 
an acre (one acre among many) of 17 trees (success variety) 20 years 
and that bore 2,800 pounds in 1925. 

'" '■■■% 



■■ ; ) 

■ - A - - 


P5T , "-~™j^^ J| 

• ■ 

FIG. 92. Top. A forest of oak (ilex) on a mountain in Majorca. One 
product is charcoal made by the continuous thinning and trimming necessary 
to keep it open as it now is for large acorn production — an acorn orchard. 
— FIG. 93. Center. A harmless-looking wash in a cotton field in the red 
clay hills of Georgia. Note that no cotton grows in or near it. All the 
top soil is gone — in a few years. — FIG. 94. Bottom. Close view of contour 
drainage ditches much used in south to stop field wash. The corn rows 
curve with the terraces which might with ease be lined with trees. (Photos 
J. Russell Smith.) 




■ ■ 




11 / 

aC - — ■ — ^^" 

'"C ■»-■-* 





^* f> VlJ. W#H' 



These three pictures suggest 
a combination of timber and 
grafted nut trees. The crop 
of timber first will make tall 
fruiting trees which will give 
maximum leaf (fruiting) sur- 
face.— FIG. 95. Top. Grafted 
chestnut tree seventeen years 
old assuming pole form when 
competing successfully with 
others in coppice. Man's hand is at one graft, another is just above the 
handkerchief on tree in the center. — FIG. 96. Bottom Right. Chestnut tree 
which had practically the pole form in 1897 but developed heavy growth of 
lower branches below the fork in trunk in eighteen seasons after light- 
robbing neighbors were removed. — FIG. 97. Bottom L?ft. Oak trees grow- 
ing along a French roadside. Every few years the branches are cut off for 
firewood. Trees shaped like this and like Fig. 96 produce maximum bearing 
surface per unit of land. (Photos J. Russell Smith.) 

Photo J. Russell Smith 

FIG. 98. This pecan tree standing in the field near Evansville, Indiana, 
shows the gigantic size. This tree is about 100 feet high, although there 
are some that are much larger. If you want your place to become a land- 
mark, plant pecan trees. They are good for 100-300 years. 

I I 


* trill 

„ _ 5 q a s 

f ? £ k ~ »a 




The pecan industry north of the Cotton Belt is still in the 
pioneer stage. It had its start in the enthusiastic work of a 
group of tree lovers who lived down in southern Indiana, 
where the native pecans tower above the oak trees and pro- 
duce nuts by the barrelful (page 205). These men 30 spent time 
and money scouring the river bottoms in search of the best 
tree among thousands. They have brought out half a dozen 
good varieties. 

Another factor in the promotion of the industry has been 
the formation and work of the Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 
ciation. It was started by people with an idea rather than an 
industry. 3 ' 

This association has been the great repository and clearing 
house for information concerning nut growing in the North 
and any person thinking of planting more than one tree should 
join the association. 

After the Indiana pioneers had searched out parent trees of 
unusual merit along the Ohio and its branches, experimental 
grafting began. Since 1913 several nurserymen have adver- 
tised grafted trees of northern origin, and the trees have been 
widely disseminated throughout the belt of marginal pecan 
territory from Connecticut through southern New York, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and southern Iowa and 
thence southward. 

In almost every case these plantings have been a combina- 
tion of ornament and experiment. They have proved that these 

30 Mr. T. P. Littlepage now at Bowie, Maryland, Mr. Ford Wilkinson, of 
Rockport, Indiana, Mr. Paul White, Mr. Robert McCoy of Lake, Indiana, 
the late judge Mason J. Niblack. 

31 Founded in 1910 in New York City by T. P. Littlepage, corporation 
lawyer, Washington, D. C; Robert T. Morris, M.D., surgeon, New York 
City; W. C. Deming, M.D., Connecticut, John Craig (deceased), Professor 
of Horticulture, Cornell University. 

32 Henry D. Spencer, Secretary, Decatur, Illinois. 

31 Northern Nut Growers' Association has a certified list of nurseries. 



particular varieties of pecan trees are hardy over most of the 
country where the climate is a good corn climate. 

As to the bearing records, the trees of some varieties, espe- 
cially the Busseron, show bearing habits that may be likened 
to the apple so far as precocity is concerned. Given reasonable 
cultivation and good soil, grafted nursery pecan trees come 
into bearing in from seven to ten years. Top-worked trees, 
where the cions are put on vigorous pecan stock, usually begin 
to bear in four or five years (Fig. 88). Such has been my ex- 
perience with several of the Ohio valley varieties in the Phila- 
delphia climate of northern Virginia. 

The large numbers of these trees that are scattered over the 
middle North will tell us about the soil and climate necessary 
for the pecan tree. As trees, the Ohio Valley varieties, Butter- 
ick, Busseron, Indiana, Greenriver, and perhaps some others, 
have proved perfectly hardy at Cornell University, Ithaca, 
N. Y. 

Unfortunately the preliminary conclusions from many of 
these experimental plantings may be necessarily harsh for the 
pecan because of its blossoming habits. 

It seems true that some of the varieties, and possibly all of 
them, are incapable of ^//-fertilization. A tree may be wrongly 
condemned for sterility when it only needs a mate. In my own 
observation I have found that the Busseron and Butterick va- 
rieties are capable of fertilizing each other. A Busseron tree 
bloomed helplessly until a Butterick bloomed near it, after 
which both bore nuts. This seemed to indicate that experi- 
menters should always have two varieties; and unless satis- 
factory reciprocal pollinating habits are known, it is better to 
have three. 

In the light of experience people here and there are begin- 
ning to plant small orchards of northern pecans. The quality 
is quite as good as that of the southern and most of the varie- 
ties can be cracked by pressing them against each other in the 




In the named varieties of the pecan which we already have 
there are a number of great crop trees. Nearly all of these 
are of chance origin. But, like the walnut, the pecan is capable 
of improvement by breeding. Mr. E. E. Risien of San Saba, 
Texas, has crossed the San Saba pecan with other good pecan 
trees. Nuts produced from the resulting seed have shown 69 
per cent, weight of meat after drying for six months. 

The fact that the pecan hybridizes even in nature with sev- 
eral of the hickories 34 is extremely suggestive. If unaided Na- 
ture has produced such a surprise as the McAllister hiccan 
(Fig. 85) what may scientific breeding be expected to do? 
There is every reason to believe that breeding experiments 
can give us a much better lot of pecan and pecan hybrid crop 
trees for the different sections of the country. 

Especially promising should be more crosses between the 
northern pecans and neighboring selected hickories. 


We have four, if not five, distinct climatic areas, each of 
which should have its own group of pecan and pecan hybrids. 
First, and at present the most important because of the large 
commercial orchards, is the southeast of the humid part of the 
Cotton Belt. This region extends from eastern Texas to North 
Carolina. The dominant characteristic of the climate here is 
moisture and humidity. These are favorable to great develop- 
ment of fungi. Therefore, the trees for this area need to be 
particularly resistant to this enemy, for if the trees must be 
sprayed as apple trees are sprayed to keep the foliage effective, 

34 One of these hybrids, the Rockville (pecan x lacinosa, shellbark, not 
shagbark), native of Missouri, latitude 38° north, grew three feet on a bitter- 
nut stock in a Virginia Blue Ridge cove thicket, 1927, the year it was grafted. 
Another one, the Burlington, native of Iowa, has proved hardy (but not 
yet fruited) on pecan stock near Minneapolis. 



great cost is added to production. It is time-consuming, diffi- 
cult, and costly to spray a tree eighty or one hundred feet 
high and with eighty or one hundred foot reach. 

The southwest pecan area, including most of Texas and 
Oklahoma, has less rain, less humidity, less fungus activity, 
and more summer heat. Varieties may thrive here which could 
not thrive in the more humid East. 

The northwest (Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska) section has very 
severe winters. Doubtless breeding from the best wild strains 
of that locality would produce good producing trees for 100,- 

000 square miles of the western part of our Corn Belt. 

The Ohio Valley region, which has given rise to all the 
varieties of pure-bred northern pecan now under cultivation, 
probably has better pecans in the woods than have yet been 
found and doubtless the proper combination of qualities, re- 
sultant from breeding, would give us many better trees than 
we now possess. For example, the Busseron seems to be the 
most precocious. Messrs. J. F. Jones, of Lancaster, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Ford Wilkinson, of Rockport, Indiana, and W. C. 
Reed, of Vincennes, Indiana, have repeatedly had them bear- 
ing in the nursery row the second or third year after grafting. 

1 have had the same experience myself on the slope of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains in Loudoun County, Virginia. This 
precocity, combined with some tree that may be more produc- 
tive or more regular in bearing or a more rapid grower or 
which ripens its nuts earlier, offers interesting possibilities. 

Such improved trees have a possible area of usefulness cov- 
ering a quarter of a million square miles in the large stretch 
of territory between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic 

35 Southern pecans have done well in the hot Southwest. Eleven Success 
pecan trees, twenty years old, owned by W. D. Tate, near Yuma, Arizona, 
have averaged one hundred pounds of nuts per year for eight years. This is 
on the deep and well-irrigated alluvial soil in the long hot summer with 
the Egyptian climate where the trees make unusually rapid growth and are 
thus far clear of all the enemies that beset them in the native and humid 
East, j American Nut Journal, July 1927.) 



Ocean, and between the Cotton Belt and the Great Lakes, and 
below one thousand or fifteen hundred feet elevation. 

Possibly a set of early ripening varieties of pecans and 
hybrids 36 can be produced in the Northeast, the section from 
central New Jersey and central Iowa to Massachusetts, south- 
ern Vermont, and southern Minnesota. 

Who is going to breed these pecans and make these new en- 
gines for the production of fat and protein? 

, There is Mr. Zenas Ellis's one pecan tree at Fair Haven, Vermont 
(page 200), waiting for the hand of the hybridizer, and also the many 
northern trees mentioned on page 200. 




If any one knows of better nuts than some of the shagbark 
hickories of the northeastern United States, I beg him to 
write me at once and send me a few, for I wish to know this 
superior thing. 

The hickories were food-producers of importance to the 
American Indian and are of great economic promise for scien- 
tific agriculture in the future. There are several reasons for 
this promise. 

(1) There are many varieties. There are doubtless from 
one to five hundred varieties (perhaps thousands) of hickory 
worthy of commercial propagation now growing in the United 
States. I mean varieties in the horticultural sense, like varie- 
ties of peaches or cherries — a tree so good that an orchard like 
it would be valuable. I cannot prove this fact, but the follow- 
ing statements make it appear reasonable. Sargent 1 lists fif- 
teen species of hickories, twenty-two varieties from a botanical 
standpoint and seventeen hybrids. 

The truth is that the great Sargent scarcely got started on 
the hybrids. Mr. Willard G. Bixby, of Baldwin, New York, 
has more than that many hybrids in his nursery, and the J. F. 
lones Nursery, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has rows of them 
which Mr. lones made by crossing the two best trees known 
to him. 

When one considers that there have been seven thousand 
named varieties of the one species of apple, my estimate of 
one hundred to five hundred varieties (perhaps thousands) of 
hickory may be too low, for we start with fifteen species scat- 

1 "Notes on North American Trees," Botanical Gazette, September, 1918. 




tered over a million square miles and multiplied by an almost 
indefinite number of natural hybrids." 

As an elemental part in this variation the fruits of different 
trees vary in flavor almost as apples do. Even the squirrels 
race through tops of hickory trees to get to the particular one 
that they fancy. 

The nuts vary in thickness of shell, shape of kernels, and in 
almost every conceivable way. Some of these wild nuts yield 
kernels in unbroken halves. I have no doubt that there are 
several thousands of such trees growing in America. Some 
hickories bear fruit late, or sparingly, or rarely; others bear 
heavily and with considerable regularity. For example, the 
Pennsylvania hybrid tree called Weiker has a well-established 
record of twelve bushels at a single crop. 4 

The different varieties within the various species vary much 
in speed of growth, and furthermore the different species vary 
much in speed of growth. For example under given soil condi- 
tions a shagbark may make from three to nine inches of 
growth in a season while the bitternut will riot away with 
two or three feet and the pecan makes nearly as much as the 
bitternut. 5 

2 Mr. Willard Bixby, of Baldwin, New York, perhaps the greatest author- 
ity on the horticulture of the hickory tree, reports as much as one hickory 
tree in thirty in certain Indiana forests to be hybrids. It was this locality 

varieties of hickories brings forth a num- 
ber of specimens which will deliver their kernels in whole halves. These are 
mostly shagbarks, but sometimes there are other species, and the total num- 
ber of such trees in the United States even now must, I am sure, be several 
hundred. 3 

In 1926 the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Mr. 
George F. Curwen, Secretary, Villa Nova, Pennsylvania, offered prizes for 
the best hickory nuts and received at least a dozen that yielded kernels in 
unbroken halves. 

4 An Illinois correspondent writes: "This tree (a seedling of course) is 
the finest tree in our section of Illinois, and we have lots of bearing hick- 
ories here. This tree bears every year from three to ten bushels of splendid 
nuts." (Letter, C. H. Walter, Canton, Illinois, January 31, 1916.) 

5 The habit of growth among most shagbark hickories is a rush in spring. 
This ends with the formation of a terminal bud in about six weeks. After 
this no amount of coaxing or fertilization or cultivation will make it grow 



(2) The hickory is a food tree of great economic promise, 
now that we have learned how to graft it and can make a 
hickory orchard just as we can make orchards of other trees. 

(3) The hickory is a food tree of great promise because of 
the great geographic range of the genus. A single species, the 
delicious and beloved shagbark, grows in southern Maine, the 
whole of New York State, a substantial strip of Ontario, thence 
to southeastern Minnesota, southeastern Nebraska, eastern 
Texas, and eastward to the western edge of the Atlantic Coast 
Plain. It covers all or parts of thirty-three states. 6 

The mocker nut and pig nut, other species of hickory, cover 
almost the same area (page 221). 

The bitternut, northernmost of all the hickories, has a 
range almost identical with that of the shagbark except that it 
reaches northward to Georgian Bay in Ontario, and to the tip 
of Lake Superior at Duluth in Minnesota. Sargent points out 
that it is common southwest of Montreal, and one of the com- 
monest trees in the forests of western Ontario. 

The other thirteen species of hickories grow in different parts 
of this territory. As a result almost any county may have 
from seven to ten or even more species at home, or capable of 
being at home, within its boundaries. 

(4) The hickory tree is a food plant of great promise be- 
cause of the great range of soil in which the different species 
can make themselves at home. Many of the species live in and 

again until the next year. On the other hand the pecan species grows all 
summer; therefore, a horticultural disappointment results when the experi- 
menter grafts pecans on hickories. They grow and make a nice foliage, but 
the pecan top is used to being fed all summer while the hickory root has 
the habit of doing most of its work in the spring. Therefore, the pecan top 
is underfed and comes through with little or no fruit or fruit of diminutive 
size. As a consequence the graft of pecans on hickories is of value only as 
a curiosity and as a means of making a quick climatic test of the variety. 
In some places it can be brought to fruit on an established hickory quicker 
than on the roots furnished it by a nurseryman. I have benefited by this 
fact in my own experimental work. 
8 See Forest Service Bulletin 80, The Commercial Hickory, pp. 23-24. 


must have rich soil. But the mocker nut will grow in poor 
sand and gravel, and the bitternut, unwelcome because of its 

— ^w. 

Courtesy J. S. Betts, U. S. Dept. of Agri 


"Photostat copies of maps showing various species of hickory 

1. Pignut (carya glabra) 

2. White Hickory (carya alba) 

3. Bitternut (carya cordifornis) 

4. Shagbark (carya ovata) 

5. Big nut shagbark (shellbark, carya laciniosa) 

Note the extreme range of the bitternut and that the shell- 
bark seems to avoid mountains and has outlying areas in Penn- 
sylvania and in Carolina. 

flavor, grows well on a myriad of high hills. Thus these two 
species offer great possibilities as stocks on which choice varie- 




ties which naturally have poor roots can be grown on sand, 
gravel, and high hills. 

(5) The hickory tree is a food plant of great promise be- 
cause of the easy hybridization within the genus. 

Hybridizing opens interesting and unpredictable possibili- 
ties of breeding varieties suitable for the particular needs of 
particular localities. Indeed, the hickories hybridize themselves 
with great freedom. 

The hybrid is law unto itself, occasionally outdoing either 
parent. For example, the Weiker tree, a cross between ovata 
and laciniosa, has yielded twelve bushels, although a crop of 
three bushels is exceptional for trees of either of its parent 

By this same independence and undependence of hybrids 
the tree grown from the seed of a hybrid tree is almost cer- 
tain to be unlike the parent tree. The offspring tends to revert 
to combinations of the qualities of the two or more types that 
have been blended to make it, i.e., plant hybrid seed and you 
get the parents again. Therefore, each natural hybrid is 
unique and like those made by man it can only be reproduced 
by grafting, budding, or other vegetative reproduction. 

The McAllister hiccan (Fig. 85), an Indiana hybrid with a 
nut often more than two inches long, raises speculation as to 
the wonders we may yet find in the forest or that we may 
produce by hybridizing, and we regret the many wonderful 
trees that have grown and perished and are perishing even in 
our day with no one to save them. 

Now that grafting of nut trees has come to be a simple thing 
the hybrid is at our service to become the foundation tree of 
a particular variety, just as all the Baldwin apple trees have 
come from one original foundation tree. A number of these 

7 This process of getting roots to fit a particular ground condition has 
been tried many times. For example, the British gave up growing cinchona 
in Ceylon because the good variety did not thrive. The Dutch are growing 
it in Java with the same good variety grafted on stocks of a rank-growing 
but almost worthless variety of cinchona. 



hybrids are growing on the grounds of experimenters, and 
some are for sale in commercial nurseries. 

This phenomenon of hybridization opens a field of utility 
for the bitternut. Save for one disadvantage this bitternut 
is magnificent. I well remember the first one I saw. The ground 
beneath a majestic pasture tree was littered with large, white, 
plump nuts. The shells were so thin that I could crack one by 
pressing it between others in my hand. The rounded lobes of 
fat meat looked like brains in a skull. 8 

To the taste my pretty white nuts were as bitter as dead 
sea water; but nature alone and unaided hybridizes bitternuts 
and shagbarks, and some of them are sweet and very good to 
eat. 9 

The Fairbanks, one of these shagbark x bitternut hybrids, 
differs from its shagbark parent by growing much more rap- 
idly than shagbarks usually grow and bearing much earlier 
than they usually bear. We may expect to wait eight to ten 
years for fruit from grafted transplanted shagbark. 10 I have 
had Fairbanks fruiting in the third year on bitternut stock 

1 I carefully weighed some of these nuts and meats and their shells and 
found that as they came green from the tree they were 52.4 per cent. meat. 
This is nearly as high as the southern pecan which ranges from 50 to 60 
per cent. Mr. Bixby reports the Vest shagbark tests 49 per cent., the Ken- 
tucky 47 per cent., the Triplett 46 per cent., while pig nuts bought in the 
market by Mr. Edward B. Rawson, of Lincoln, Virginia, yielded 25 per 
cent. meat. 

' Of one such tree, the Fairbanks, Mr. S. W. Snyder, of Iowa, ex-Presi- 
dent of the Northern Nut Growers' Association, says, "Regarding the Fair- 
banks hybrid hickory, will say it is one of the best bearers to be found 
among the hickories, that is, as it grows here. The parent tree has had a 
wonderful record in the production of nuts. Mr. Fairbanks informed me at 
one time that the old tree had not failed in a full crop in a period of twenty 
years; and what is considered a full crop for it is something remarkable 
for a hickory tree, as it bears considerably heavier than the average variety 
of hickory." (Letter, Center Point, Iowa, January 19, 1927.) 

10 "I have had quite a lot of experience in grafting hickories. . . . Shag- 
bark upon shagbark I found usually took about eight or ten years to come 
into bearing. The only perfect results I ever had in grafting was when I 
found three or four stocks along an old stone fence. These I think were 
from an old 'pig nut,' as one formerly stood near by. I cut the cions in early 
April and cleft-grafted them at once; all took and made wonderful growth 



growing in an uncultivated field " on top of the Blue Ridge 
Mountain in northern Virginia. Dr. W. C. Deming reports 
that several pure shagbarks have borne in three, four, five, 
and six years when topworked on vigorous stocks. 

The subject need not be expanded to one who has read 
this book. Searching out the best wild hickory trees now 
growing in America would give the basis for a profitable in- 
dustry. I am sure that my two-hundred-acre farm would fur- 
nish me a competence if it had on it a full stand of mature 
hickories as good as the best now growing wild. With two hun- 
dred acres of such trees I could live at ease, have a servant, 
a secretary, and a good automobile. 

By hybridizing we can get much better trees; therefore, the 
need is to search to get the best wild trees and then employ 
a staff of men to test and breed. 


The past services of the hickories suggest their future. For 
one thing they have helped produce the mast that has fat- 
tened the hog of the American frontiersman. 12 They might 
again render this service, but their excellence for human food 
probably puts the forage crop of improved hickories forward 
into a different agricultural epoch from that of the present. 
It is not likely that the hickory can compete with the oak 

four or five feet annually. One bore nuts in the third year, and the others 
fourth or fifth. . . . 

"I have found that by spading in some well-rotted manure and later 
sprinkling a few handfuls of bone meal with a little bit of nitrate of soda 
and extensive cultivation, one can push the shagbark along tremendously 
after it has once become established." (Letter, Harvey Losee, Upper Red 
Hook, New York, to Willard Bixby, April 19, 1919.) 

"l do not want to stampede people into growing the Fairbanks. There 
are better hybrids, I think. I merely mention it to illustrate the point about 
breeding hybrids. 

12 "Hickory nuts have very hard shells but excellent kernels with which, 
in a plentiful year, the old hogs that can crack them fatten themselves and 
make excellent pork. These nuts are gotten in great quantities by the sav- 
ages and laid up for stores of which they make several dishes and ban- 
quets." (Lawson, History of Carolina, p. 98, quoted in Sargent's Silva, 
Vol. VII, p. 133.) 



in weight of pork per acre. We should not forget that the 
acorn like the chestnut is solid meat. 

The past use of the hickory as food by the American In- 
dians and colonists is still more suggestive of its future use. 
Hickory cream formerly made by the Indians may possibly be 
made again in this age of machinery. Sargent 13 thus describes 
it by quoting William Bartram's Travels in North America. 
"The fruit (of the hickory) is in great estimation by the pres- 
ent generation of Indians, particularly Juglans exaltate, com- 
monly called shell-barked hickory. The Creeks store up the 
last in their Towns. I have seen above an hundred bushels of 
these nuts belonging to one family. They pound them to pieces 
and then cast them into boiling water, which after passing 
through fine strainers preserves the most oily part of the 
liquid which they call by a name which signifies hiccory milk. 
It is as sweet and rich as fresh cream and is an ingredient in 
most of their cookery, especially hominy and corn cakes." 

The Indians sometimes crushed roasted sweet potatoes in 
this hickory milk as a kind of gravy, and hickory nut oil from 
the shagbark seems to have been a staple article of diet in the 
Virginia colony. 1 * 

Partly evaporated hickory milk keeps a long time in jars, a 
quality of great importance for food. 

We think of the hickory nut kernel as being troublesome to 
pick from the shell. For most wild varieties this is true, but 
in this day of machinery it appears to be a simple problem in 
chemical or mechanical engineering to work out the technique 

" Silva, Vol. 7, p. 133. 

14 See Robert T. Morris's Nut Growing. 

Further testimony — "The wild wallnut or hiquery tree, gives the Indians 
by boyling its kernel, a wholesome oyl, from which the English frequently 
supply themselves for its kitchen uses. Whilst new it has a pleasant taste, 
but after six months, it decays and grows acid. I believe it might make a 
good oyl, and of as general an use as that of the olive if it were better 
purified and rectified." (Thomas Ash, Carolina, or a Description of the 
Present State of that Country, p. 12, quoted by Sargent, Silva, Vol. VII, 
p. 133.) 



whereby we may imitate the cider mill, shovel the nuts into a 
machine, crush them, extract the oil by mechanical processes, 
and bring the hickory oil or hickory cream or hickory butter 
into competition with cow's butter, olive oil, coconut oil, corn 
oil, lard, goose grease, tallow, margarine, et cetera, as food 
fats of the future. 

Meanwhile hickory nuts are still delicious for eating by the 
fireside, for dessert, and for candies. But they cannot rival the 
black walnut as the standard for general cooking purposes. 

For agricultural uses see Chapter XXIII. 



This book makes no attempt at being the last word on any 
topic. Its avowed purpose is to convince persons of creative 
intellect that there is a great field meriting scientific experi- 
mental exploration. The preceding chapters have attempted 
to establish with some degree of thoroughness some idea of 
the importance of certain fields for work. A tree crop may re- 
ceive considerable space, but that does not necessarily mean 
that it is of more ultimate importance than some others which 
have received briefer treatment or have even been omitted al- 
together. The limitations of time and space have prevented 
me from covering the whole field with uniform thoroughness. 
Therefore, some of those which appear to have been slighted 
may, after a few decades of experimental work, prove to be 
more important than some which have received more space. 

This chapter makes brief mention of a number of possibili- 
ties — mere suggestions. 


The beeches (fagus) are a northern member of the mast 
family, as the chestnut is a southern member of the same 
family. In Europe the chestnut has taken the Mediterranean 
shores and the beech tree those of the Baltic. In America the 
chestnut has taken the Appalachian upland and the beech 
those of New England and southern Canada. 1 

1 The beech tree like spruce and pine runs down the Appalachians with 
the cold climate of its high elevation. 

"The people fence their wood land with woven wire and when the beech 
crop hits they are ready to buy hogs and turn them in about the middle of 




The abundant nuts of the beech tree have helped to make 
the hog what he is. Beechnuts have long been important in 
Europe as food for the wild boar of the forest and for the 
semi-wild hog of Europe. The oil from beechnuts is used as a 
substitute for butter. The residue makes a good food element 
for animals. 

As encouragement for those who might consider making a 
beech tree capable of producing a modern commercial crop I 
cite the following fact. The search of Dr. Robert Morris and 
Mr. Willard G. Bixby for beechnuts large enough to merit 
experimental propagation has resulted in the discovery of 
specimens (varieties) of the American beech varying much in 
size. This fact is promising for the plant breeder. 

There are a dozen species or more of the beech. This fact is 
also promising for the plant breeder. Along with these two 
things we should keep in mind what has happened to the Per- 
sian walnut (see page 164) as a result of being propagated by 

The beech tree can be grafted. This fact has given us the 
ornamental purple beeches. In the future it may give us wide 
expanses of grafted beech trees stretching over the unplowable 
stone-lands of New England and furnishing forage for beech- 
nut bacon, dessert nuts for the table, and oil material for the 
kitchen of the future housewife. 

Thus far scientific agriculture seems to have utterly 
neglected the beechnut. 


This choice dessert nut is gathered wild in southern Turkey 
and in other widely scattered locations, and for many years 
it has been an article of commerce. For a long period of time 
unusual specimens have been propagated by grafting and 

November. In this way there are thousands of pounds of meat made in this 
country." (Letter, G. T. Shannon, Willow Shade, Kentucky, December 19, 




FIG. 102. Top. Pistache tree on the Lord Nelson estate on the slope of 
Mt. Etna, Sicily, growing on a tumble of volcanic bowlders where dirt is 
rarely visible. The occasional crops were worth $20 gold at prices for 
1900-1913. (Photo J. Russell Smith.)— FIG. 103. Bottom. These gigantic 
pistache trees growing in South China, taken in combination with the growth 
of the tree in Turkey and Mediterranean countries and Kansas, indicate 
wide range and great adaptability of the species. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. 




FIG. 105. Bottom Left. Almond 
seedlings nine months old. Largest 
top sixteen inches long. Root (11 
feet) helps explain ability of this 
species to withstand drought. Cali- 
fornia trees often have roots 12 to 
25 feet down. (Courtesy B. G. 
Brown, Orono, Maine.) — FIG. 106. 
Bottom Right. Byzantine filbert tree 
growing in park at Rochester, New 
York. A beautiful shade tree, also 

nuts. (Courtesy William C. Deming.) — FIG. 104. Top. Wild pinon landscape 

near Santa Fe, Mexico. (Photo Everett Rodebaugh.) 

budding. The great superiority of these few unusual varieties 
of unknown origin is suggestive of further improvement of the 

The pistache is a tree having wide climatic adaptation. 
Commercial varieties have been introduced in the United 
States from Italy, Sicily, Algeria, Greece, and Afghanistan. 
Other varieties have been introduced from Palestine, Syria, 
Libya, and France, and also from China, whose climate differs 
greatly from that of the other countries. The fact that the 
pistache comes from Afghanistan and from China as well as 
from Mediterranean countries 2 indicates a wide area of 
possible adaptation in the United States. 3 Mr. Merrill W. 
Isley, an American missionary in southern Turkey, told me 
that the tree grows wild in an area one hundred miles by one 
hundred miles near the northeastern corner of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea just north of the present boundary of Syria. There 
on the mountains the pistache tree grows wild as the scrub 
oak grows wild. It has survived and made profit on what 
perhaps is the roughest land used for agriculture anywhere 
in the world. (See Fig. 102.) The tree seems to thrive on thin 
soils, especially on that underlaid by limestone. It can cling 
in the crevices of rocks where there is almost no soil to be 
seen. Mr. Isley tells me of land in Turkey where it is so 
steep that only goats and men can climb there, yet the dili- 
gent Armenians had there grafted the pistache trees and were 
establishing valuable orchards before the desolations of the 
World War. 

The pistache tree has two habits that are rather discourag- 
ing to the commercial planter. Mr. Isley reports that his 
orchard of seedling trees grafted in place required fifteen 

Mr. Hernando be Soto, U. S. Consul at Palermo, reported March 14, 
1913, that the pistache in Sicily prefers an elevation from four hundred to 
eight hundred meters (1,312 to 2,624 feet). 

Reported thriving at Nucla, Colorado, 5,800 feet altitude, on the grounds 
of U. H. Walker. (American Nut Journal, June, 1926.) Also 40 miles west 
of Wichita, Kansas. (Letter, Merrill W. Isley.) 



years of cultivation before producing commercial crops. This 
was on land good for grapes and wheat but subject to the very 
dry summer of the Mediterranean climate. The pistache also 
has very irregular bearing 4 habits. Mr. Isley states that in 
his Turkish pistache country the trees will be loaded with 
fruit once in five, six, or seven years. 3 In other years the trees 
commonly set full crops, but the nuts drop off. In view of the 
fact that the trees are male and female, it is perhaps possible 
that the dropping could be overcome if the planters were to 
provide pollen-bearing insects to fertilize the trees. 

My own observation and my interviews with pistache 
growers on the rocky lava slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily confirm 
Mr. Isley's Turkish data in every respect — wild trees in rough 
places; grafting to improve strains; spasmodic bearing with 
rarely a heavy crop. 

Fortunately the nuts keep well, so well, in fact, that in 
Turkey before the World War the Ottoman Bank would lend 
heavily on bags of pistache nuts. 


Dr. Robert T. Morris in his book on nut growing 6 makes 
some statements that give one a shock. For example, he says 

4 March 14, 1913, Mr. Hernando De Soto, U. S. Consul at Palermo, made 
a special consular report (unpublished, I believe) emphasizing the great ir- 
regularity of the pistache yield. He reported that well-set land would yield 
on the average six to twelve bushels of green pistachio nuts per acre per 
year, and that a fair value of this at that time was four dollars per bushel 
green. Each bushel yielded twenty-five pounds of nuts for which sixty to 
eighty cents was then the fair average value, although at times they went 
to higher figures. The value of such an unplowable plantation with eighty 
to one hundred and twenty trees per acre was put at two hundred and forty 
to three hundred dollars per acre. Without trees it was worth forty to 
sixty dollars per acre. 

Mr. Edward I. Nathan, U. S. Consul at Palermo in 1927, reported (letter, 
September 21) that the acreage was about static and that prices that year 
had ranged from two to four dollars per kilo. 

5 I was told the same thing by the very intelligent English manager of 
the Lord Nelson estate at Bronte on the western slope of Mount Etna in 

6 Robert T. Morris, Nut Growing, Macmillan. 



that research has led him to place the nuts in the pine cones 
near the head of the list of nut food for human use. He thinks 
that even now pine nuts are second only to the coconut. 

This statement is open to question because it is difficult 
to estimate the amount of crops that are consumed where 
produced and for which no statistical record exists. To 
strengthen his conclusion Dr. Morris states: 

(1) That he thinks there are thirty species of nut-bearing 
pines to be tried out between Quebec and Florida. 

(2) One species, the bunya bunya pine, produces nuts the 
size of the average English walnut. Others grade on down to 
a nut the size of a grain buckwheat. 

(3) The pine trees with their wide array of species pro- 
duce nuts with a wide variety of edible qualities. (See table, 
page 304.) Some of them are sugary and sweet. 7 Many are rich 
in both protein and fat. 

(4) Some of them have the quality, less common among 
the nuts, of furnishing starch. For example, the araucarias 
of the southern hemispheres long furnished a starch food to 
the natives of South America, South Africa, and Australia. 

(5) Many of the pine nuts are good when eaten either raw 
or cooked. Starchy varieties must be cooked. Some of the oily 
kinds may be covered with water and then pressed, thereby 
yielding a thick milky substance which can be kept for a long 
time and which is essentially a substitute for meat. 

A few facts about one of these pines may serve to show that 
this genus merits the attention of the botanical creators. 

The pifion (pinus edulis) of southwestern America can be 
seen displaying its virtues to good advantage in the vicinity 
of Sante Fe, New Mexico, in a climate that is hopeless for 
agriculture without irrigation and where pasture is of low 

' The sugar pine (pinus lambertina), that lordly timber tree of the 
Pacific Coast, bears a nut rich in sugar and oil. Its sap evaporates, leaving a 
solid sugar. 



yielding power. There the pinons raise their beautiful heads 
and stretch by the thousands across the landscape as far as one 
can see. The land may be hopeless for agriculture because of 
the steepness of the slope, but the pinon is perfectly at home 
on the hill, dry and rocky though it be. For ages the nuts 
have been a mainstay for the native, furnishing both fat and 
protein food. They are gathered chiefly by the Indians and 
Mexicans. When the railroad came, the Indian found a 
market; and now the pine nuts are shipped by the ton, by 
the carload, almost by the trainload. The annual value of the 
harvest amounts to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Though the pinon is a wild product of the open forest, no 
one knows what might result if the best pinon tree of all 
the millions that Nature has already produced were chosen as 
parent stock. This one species of the many edible pines is scat- 
tered over a half million square miles in our own Southwest 
and northern Mexico. Next comes the question — what might 
the plant breeder do with this genus and its many species? 

A private experimenter who starts a collection of the nut- 
bearing pine trees will add beauty to interest, for what is 
more beautiful than a group or collection of pines? 

It is probable that a million-dollar endowment could be 
profitably employed for the next century on nut-pine investi- 
gations alone. 


The almond is a cousin of the peach. The two trees are so 
similar in appearance as to be indistinguishable to the inex- 
perienced. Some people claim that the peach is merely a 
specialized almond. Even when the fruit is nearly ripe the 
almond looks like a small undeveloped peach. 

The world's almond crop, exclusively a product of the 
Mediterranean climate, is worth many millions of dollars a 
year. It is a well-established industry in California, Spain, 



Italy, Sicily, and in other locations of the Mediterranean 
climate, namely Chile, South Africa, and South Australia. 

The fruit of the almond has already entered into the machine 
production stage which characterizes our present and pros- 
pective food supply. You can go to the store and buy candied 
almonds, salted almonds, almond meal (or paste) used to make 
macaroons and other cakes either in the homes or in the 

The tendency of the almond to early blooming is its chief 
limiting factor, but there are some strains, chiefly those with 
hard shells, that seem to survive and thrive in a climate like 
that of Connecticut, southern Vermont, 8 and many other parts 
of the eastern United States. A specimen of my own bears 
abundantly under the same conditions that produce a major 
part of the Virginia apple crop, namely a good soil plus fer- 
tilization without cultivation. 

It seems reasonable to expect that breeding and selection 
would produce much more desirable strains suitable to the 
climate of the eastern United States. Apparently it might 
become a crop for untilled hill land, especially if supplied 
with water pockets for preservation of rainfall. (Page 262.) 

The almond is a tree of special promise as a crop for arid 
lands. Indeed, most of the crop is grown on unirrigated soils 
in the Mediterranean lands of rainless summer. Its structure, 
namely a peach without juice, suggests aridity. 

Some species have elaborately developed root systems, hair 
on leaf and fruit, and other drought-resisting characteristics. 
Mr. Silas Mason, Botanist, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 
has discovered several species that grow wild in the deserts 
of Nevada 9 in rainfall averaging less than ten inches per 

8 One species of hard-shell almond is living on the grounds of Zenas 
Ellis, Fair Haven, Vermont. It is producing fruit on the grounds of G. H. 
Corsan, Islington, Ontario (near Toronto). 

' See Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. I, No. 2, November 10, 1913, 
in which Mr. Mason describes a group of species called "wild almond" 
(prunus andersonii), the "wild peach" (prunus texana), the "wild apricot" 



year and for some years amounting to only a fraction of that. 
These species await development into usable crops. 


The kernel of the apricot seed is much like that of the 
peach and the almond. At canneries it appears that the seeds 
of apricots have twenty to twenty-five per cent, kernel. In 
California before the World War these seeds were sometimes 
put through mechanical crackers. When free from the shells 
the kernels were roasted and sold for almonds to some con- 
fectioners. The pure food law has apparently stopped the 
fraudulent practice. Also in California during the World War 
oil was extracted from apricot kernels. It was very much like 
cottonseed oil and was used for cooking and as oil for canning 

Under post-war conditions the cottonseed oil is cheaper, so 
apricot kernels are exported to Denmark and Germany in 
one hundred kilogram sacks and used for the manufacture 
of oil and acids and for a face lotion. 10 We should attempt 
to breed an apricot with a bigger and better seed, letting the 
flesh atrophy, thus specializing the apricot for a particular 
purpose as we do with cattle to make beef breeds, milk breeds, 
and ox breeds. 

(prunus eriogyna), the "desert almond" (prunus fasciculata), the Texas 
"wild almond" (prunus minutiflora) and the Mexican "wild almond" 
(prunus microphylla). 

They range from northern Mexico to southern Oregon. Some of them 
are surviving desert conditions where the rainfall in some seasons is not 
more than one inch a year. Mr. Mason cites an interesting adjustment. 
Under desert conditions they must, among other things, sprout quickly when 
water comes. In a week's time a greenhouse specimen had a plumule one 
centimeter long and a root nine centimeters long. The eleven natural hybrids 
listed by Mr. Mason are very suggestive for the plant breeder who would 
use this desert genius genus to make crops for desert lands. 

10 Rosenberg Brothers and Company, Santa Clara, California, letter, 
September 18, 1922. For an interesting discussion of peach, prune, almond, 
and apricot structure, origin, and relationship, see Bulletin 133, Bureau 
Plant Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, "Peach, Apricot, and 
Prune Kernels." 




One of the clear-cut memories of my youth on a Virginia 
farm is the joyful noise of pigs as they cracked the seeds of 
fallen cherries beneath the trees in the orchard where the pigs 
pastured. This suggests developing another tree forage crop 
for midsummer pig pasture. Cherries come after mulberries 
and before persimmons. 

The structure of the cherry is essentially analagous to that 
of the peach, a juicy pulp surrounding a kernel which con- 
tains in the center a germ carrying the food for the young seed, 
which also happens to be nutritious to animals. Bulletin No. 
350, Bureau Plant Industry, professional paper, The Utiliza- 
tion of Cherry Byproducts, 1916, estimated that the seeds 
then thrown away at canneries in the United States con- 
tained 300,000 pounds of oil worth $60,000. It is true that the 
Mazzard cherry has a tremendous variation in size and 
flavor of pulp, in size of the seed, both shell and kernel. This 
tree is very fruitful ' ' and grows absolutely wild in the eastern 
forest margins and along fence rows from southern Ontario 
to the Cotton Belt. I have seen cherry trees in northern Vir- 
ginia whose trunks were two feet in diameter and from fifty 
to sixty feet in height. 

I see no reason why breeding should not produce Mazzard 
cherry trees with seeds that carry enough meat to make of 
the fruit a profitable crop when picked up by pigs. This is 
a possibility worth investigation. A cherry has been crossed 
with the apricot and the peach. 12 

11 I recall one tree from which I saw fifty gallons picked in one season. 
Then, curious as to the amount remaining, I walked around the tree esti- 
mating its burden. Upon looking up at it I could not tell where the fifty 
gallons had come from. I made a rough estimate of it branch by branch 
and concluded it must have at least two hundred gallons of fruit left as 
they began to rot and fall off. on the fifth of July. Estimating one-sixth 
for seed and one-third of the seeds for meat, we have eleven gallons of 
meats — call it eighty pounds — probably as nutritious as almond meats. 
Journal of Heredity, July, 1916. 




Two species of bushes, the hazels, producing nuts that are 
not bad, grow wild and fairly run riot in many American 
fields. They are considered a troublesome weed because for- 
aging animals do not touch the leaves, and the nuts are not 

The growing habit of these species is baffling to the horti- 
culturist who would graft a good specimen. The plant becomes 
a clump through spreading underground stems; the clump 
grows on the outsides and dies in the middle. It resembles the 
raspberry in this respect. Therefore, the grafted specimen 
soon dies. Dr. R. T. Morris tried grafting one of these to the 
greedy European filbert. The filbert made such a demand 
upon the stem of the hazelnut that it kept on feeding the 
filbert instead of making more underground stems. 13 

At the present moment some worthy varieties of hazels and 
many worthy varieties of filberts are available in commercial 
nurseries and are ready for growth in a wide area in this 

The J. F. Jones Nursery, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has 
for sale grafted bushes of one hazel that stands still and 
grows — grows rapidly and bears early and prolifically. 

The filbert, a cousin which hybridizes with the hazels, is an 
important commercial crop in the Mediterranean countries 
and the Caucasus, whence we import considerable quantities 
of nuts. Our total import is now more than twenty million 
pounds a year. 

Professor J. A. Neilson, of Port Hope, Ontario, reports 
filbert trees, fifty years old, one foot in diameter, twenty -five 

13 Nut Growing, Robert T. Morris. 

14 Here is a sample of the complex relationships between climates and 
trees which shows the necessity for widespread experimentation; note the 
following facts: Italian red filbert winter kills at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 
for J. F. Jones, while Mr. S. W. Snyder, an equally careful observer, re- 
ports it to be the hardiest he has at Center Point, Iowa, near the northern 
edge of the Corn Belt. 



feet tall, bearing well at Ancaster, near Hamilton, Ontario, 
and also a plantation of European filberts eighty-five years 
old on Wolf Island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, 
latitude 44° 10' north. 

Some European filberts blight when grown in the eastern 
part of the United States, but they thrive in western Oregon, 
Washington, and British Columbia. Several thousand acres of 
commercial plantings have been made, and they seem to be 
increasing at this time (1928). 

In making some hybridization experiments (hazel x filbert) 
Mr. J. F. Jones, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, found that the same 
crossing produced nuts from which grew bushes six inches 
in height and ten feet in height with all the intervening heights 
represented. Mr. Jones produced hybrid nuts larger than those 
of either parent and some of his hybrids have produced at the 
rate of a ton of nuts to the acre. 

This work of Mr. Jones is highly promising in the plants 
already produced and still more highly promising if more 
systematic work is done. 

In speculating on possible results to be obtained by breed- 
ing in this group of species, the following facts should be kept 
in mind: 

(1) Tree hazels of European or Asiatic origin, grow, bear, 
and are perfectly hardy at Rochester, New York. 

(2) These trees have been grafted for centuries in Turkey, 
and Mr. Richard H. Turk reports that he is doing it at Van- 
couver, Washington, also. 

(3) That the wild hazels are now growing in Newfound- 
land, Labrador, the shores of Hudson Bay, and the Peace 
River country of Northern Alberta. 15 They thus seem to grow 

13 Information from Professor James Neilson, Port Hope, Ontario. 

"I have seen the hazelnut growing as far north as Hudson Bay, and it is 
very hard to distinguish it from the elm. The hazelnuts grow to a height 
of from twenty to twenty-five feet, and the elm comes down to about that 
height." Robert T. Morris, 1922 Proceedings, Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 


and be adapted to the whole stretch along the southern edge 
of the sub-Arctic forest and reach across the continent north 
of the present limits of agriculture. 

It is interesting to speculate upon what selection, crossing, 
and hybridizing from these hardy wild stocks and their good 
Eurasian cousins might produce in a decade or two. 


This tree produces a fine cabinet wood and a nut whose 
hull contains an excellent saponaceous principle said to make 
a perfect lather. Some authorities claim that it has cleansing 
qualities superior to manufactured soaps. The kernel of this 
nut has an oil claimed to be the rival of olive oil. It will grow 
in large sections of the United States. 16 


The holly tree which grows wild near Vancouver Sound 
has leaves reported to have a nutrient value that rivals cereals. 
According to George W. Cavanaugh, of Cornell University, 
the analyses are as follows: 

Proteins Fats Moisture Ash 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Holly leaf. 14.56 13.56 5.24 4. 

Oats 11.8 5. 

Barley 12.4 1.8 

Corn 10.5 5. 

Rye 10.5 1.7 

Wheat 12. 2. 

It is claimed that simple processes can extract these fats in 
form suited to human consumption. 
Holly grows over a wide area. 


The straight-growing gingko tree bears heavily of nuts. 
They have an offensive smell as the pulp decays, but the 

16 See American Forestry, November, 1917. 



chemical qualities are suggestive of possible industrial uses. 
In some places the nuts are roasted and when eaten taste like 
roasted corn. The tree comes to us from Japan and thrives 
in much of the eastern United States. 


This is a native American tree of great beauty if given 
space in which to expand. Such a beautiful tree should be 
planted on our lawns. Its fruit is nutritious, having 435 cal- 
ories per pound and being high in protein. It is liked exceed- 
ingly by some persons, disliked by others. To a very few it is 
somewhat poisonous. 

The fruit may be found to a small extent in some markets, 
but it ripens in the autumn glut of foods and has small pros- 
pect of getting on the market in a large way unless experiment 
proves it to be good pig feed. It has large seeds much like 
lima beans in size and shape. They may carry most of the 
nutriment. Considered as forage the tree has the disadvantage 
of being hard to transplant, but the great advantage of 
having foliage that seems to be abhorred by all pasturing 
animals. Sheep, goats, cows, and horses apparently will 
scarcely touch it with their feet. It can spring up and thrive 
in the most persecuted pasture, and it grafts readily. Dr. G. A. 
Zimmerman, of Piketown, Pennsylvania, has thirty-seven 
varieties of papaw under test. 


The horse chestnut tree, so highly prized as a beautiful 
shade tree, bears abundant crops of a nut which analyzes high 
in nutrients: 

Starch and starchy matters 42 per cent. 

Albuminous matter 5 

" See Journal of Heredity, July, 1916 and January, 1917. Also a mimeo- 
graphed bulletin by H. B. Gould, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 
1 The Literary Digest for August 12, 1916. 



Oil 2.5 per cent. 

Saccharin matter 9 

Mineral matter 1.5 

Water 40 

This nut has long been used in Europe as food for deer, 
for the zoo elephant, and for game, and is regularly gathered 
for that purpose. During the World War horse chestnuts were 
used to some extent for human food, but especially for forage. 
The bitter element was removed by boiling the crushed nuts, 
a method apparently similar to that used by the American 
Indians to remove the bitter elements from acorns. 


This tree grows in the country once occupied by the Osage 
Indians, who used its wood for bows. The tree produces timber 
of fine quality and also bears heavy burdens of large fruit 
(1 to IV2 pounds) that may possibly have commercial value if 
processed in a chemical works of special design. 

Professor W. R. Ballard, Maryland Agricultural Experi- 
mental Station, wrote me, June 14, 1916: 

"Professor Norton tells me that, while at Shaw's Gardens, 
St. Louis, he discovered that the fruit had almost as much 
starch in its composition as the potato. The abundant resin 
has no doubt prevented its utilization for food." 19 

Careful analysis 20 shows the fruit to be rich in resins, pro- 

19 "They have a great deal of starch in them, but the resinous substances 
in them would interfere with use. I do not know whether this could 
be changed by treatment, but it is possible that more palatable varieties 
could be selected as well as varieties which would be more productive. I 
have seen trees in large hedges which were loaded with fruit, while many 
others were without fruit, and others bearing very sparingly close to them." 
(Letter, J. S. B. Norton, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, De- 
cember 1, 1927.) 

20 Table I — Analysis of the Osage Orange (Percentages) : 

H,0 in ripe fruit. 80.00 

Gums and resins in dry pulp (acetone extr.) 29.30 

Nitrogen in dry pulp 2.81 



tein, fat, and starch, and apparently well worthy of much 
more experimental work than has been bestowed upon it. 


The sugar maple is native or adapted to a large area of 
northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. So far 
as I know, neither selection nor breeding has ever been at- 
tempted as a means of increasing the efficiency of this tree. 
If the sugar maple is capable of being improved as the beet 
was improved, the results might be revolutionary for the 
hills from New Brunswick to Minnesota with a detour through 


The Queensland nut," native in Australia, produces a nut 
with an epicurean flavor but an almost impossibly hard shell. 
Some of these trees are growing in southern California. An 
Australian experimenter has produced one tree producing nuts 
with a soft shell. 

Protein in dry pulp (N x 6.25) 17.56 

N. in pulp after acetone extraction 3.42 

Protein in pulp after acetone extraction (N x 6.25) 21.34 

Oil in seed (ether extr.) 42.04 

N. in oil-free meal 10.80 

Protein in oil-free meal (N x 6.25) 67.50 





K 2 

Dry Pulp 

. . 0.16. . 

. . .0.20. . 


Dry Pulp after Oil-free 

extracting meal 

. . .0.23 .... 0.24 

Na,0 0.13. 

P,6 5 0.67. 

Ash (crude) 6.60. 



(J. S. McHargue, "Some Important Constituents in the Fruit of the Osage 
Orange," Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 1915, Vol. 7, 
p. 612.) 

21 See U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bul- 
letin 176. 



This tree, whose bark contains much tannin, is cultivated to 
the extent of 200,000 acres in Natal. Since Natal has the 
climate of southeastern United States, it would seem possible 
to introduce the industry. Australia also has promising species 
of wattle. 


The tung oil tree (aleuritus fordii) of central China yields 
fruit from whose seeds is extracted one of the most valuable 
drying oils known in commerce. This oil is imported into the 
United States to the extent of forty or fifty million pounds a 
year and is worth several million dollars. The United States 
has much climate similar to that in which this tree grows. 


This is a group of remarkably hardy natives of the northern 
Great Plains region. Prof. S. S. Visher says of them, "As a 
boy in South Dakota, I was much impressed with the value of 
these small trees not only for human food, but for hog food 
and for food of prairie chickens, bobwhites, etc." 

These trees start with a great hardiness, and the previous 
discussion of cherries and apricots shows that they might be 
specialized into two groups of crops, fruit food and nut food 
for man or beast, especially beast. 

20 — 999 + . ??? 

No botanist, only God, knows how many more trees might 
become crop trees if man did his best with them. 

Tanning materials, dye materials, fibers, rubbers, gums, 
medicines ? ? ? 



The temperate zones are rich in crop-yielding trees. But 
many of these trees are largely untested, almost unexplored 
from the standpoint of economic botany. If I have succeeded 
in establishing that fact, what can I say about the tropics? 

The vegetation of that large and little known realm is 
almost wanton in its productivity; and in the total of economic 
possibilities the trees seem to have more than their share of 
fruits and other useful products. 1 To advance from gathering 
wild produce in the forests to the systematic planting and 
cultivation of the tree as a crop is an easy and natural step. 
The process though old may, perhaps, be only at the be- 
ginning of a series of new developments. It may be seen today 
in the active stages of its development. Take rubber cultiva- 
tion for example. 

1 "An extraordinary number of the forest trees of the Fijis furnish food 
for man. Such are the bread-fruit, which grows to be fifty feet high with 
deeply incised glossy leaves, sometimes almost two feet long. The Malay 
apple, or kavika (eugenia), grows to a great height and bears a delicious 
fruit, which when ripe is white streaked with delicate pink and most re- 
freshing and rose-like to the taste. The cocoanut palm clusters in dense 
groves along the beaches, the long leaves murmuring to the sea breeze as 
they wave to and fro, casting their grateful shade upon the native village. 
Of all trees none is more useful to tropical man than the cocoanut. . . . 

"Bananas and the wild plantain (fei) grow luxuriantly in the forest, as 
do also oranges, lemons, limes, shaddocks, guavas, alligator pears, the papaw, 
mango, and many other smaller shrubs and vegetables. . . . 

"Famine is indeed all but impossible in the high islands of the tropical 

"A History of Fiji," by Alfred Goldsborough Mayer, Popular Science 
Monthly, June, 1915, p. 527. 






Rubber is the perfect example of the wild trees whose uses 
were quickly demonstrated, after which the technical processes 
were worked out with great rapidity, and manufacturing and 
agricultural industries created with almost magic speed. 

For two generations the small need for rubber was supplied 
by spasmodic tapping of the wild trees of the forests. Then 
the bicycle and automobile made a sudden increase in demand 
for rubber. A few small experiments in cultivation were pro- 
ducing much talk by the year 1900, and by 1910 the highly 
profitable result of a few small plantations had started the 
full-fledged rubber boom with capitalistic organization, scien- 
tific prosecution, technically trained European supervisors, and 
thousands of oriental coolies. By 1918 the success of the 
growers had been so great that over-production and glutted 
markets with rubber at eighteen cents threw consternation 
into the camps of the men who had begun their cultivation on 
an extensive scale and had planted their trees when rubber 
was two dollars per pound. 

At first any wild rubber tree was used. When cut-throat 
competition had forced intensive and scientific development, 
orchards were planted with selected seed rather than chance 
seedlings. This gave a substantial percentage increase of 
produce, but a severalfold increase of output is had from the 
orchard of grafted trees. Better rubber orchards now have a 
leguminous cover crop to feed them with nitrogen. All this 
development and even more has taken place in a quarter of 
a century. 


We are indebted to the rubber growers for the economic 
large scale development of a device which in Malaya they 
call silt pits. This old but essentially unknown device promises 
to be of great value for the tree-crop agriculture of all climes. 



Holes are dug in the orchard near the rubber trees. The rows 
of holes are connected by a ditch on contour lines. Thus the 
fine soil carried by running water is caught in the pits. The 
pits also hold surplus rain water and increase the yield of 
the trees. (See Figs. 18, 23, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117.) 


The productivity of tropical crop trees is well established 
by the performance of the date. Considered as human food 
this is possibly the king crop of world agriculture. Certain 
oases such as Tozeur in Central Tunis were described in the 
first century by Roman travelers. The oases still correspond 
to that description and apparently have been yielding dates 
every year in the intervening eighteen centuries. Crops of 
wheat and corn are not expected in Illinois year after year on 
the same bit of land. Yet these dates yield more food by far 
per acre than wheat or corn and have done so year after year 
for centuries. They are probably supported in this seeming 
miracle by wind-blown dust. 

The foliage of the date, being feathery at the top, permits 
sunlight to come through and fall upon an under-orchard of 
olives, apricots, and figs, and beneath these beans and other 
leguminous crops will grow — literally a three-story type of agri- 
culture so rich in yield that only a portion of the date oases 
need be worked so diligently. 


The pejibaye is similar in food value to the well-known 
date, but it is almost unknown. I doubt if 1 per cent, of the 
people of the United States or England have ever heard 
of it. But I mention it to prove the productivity of tropic 
trees and our ignorance concerning them. According to an 
article in the Journal of Heredity, April, 1921, this tree, which 
is a palm, is a rival of the date in productivity (see Fig. 109). 
The fruit is more productive than the banana, but it differs 




from the date in having starch instead of sugar for its main 
constituent. For months at a time the pejibaye is the chief 
food supply of the native peoples of southern Costa Rica and 
the lowlands of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. It was 
mentioned by the early Spanish travelers, has been in use ever 
since, and yet we have not even heard of it. 


In the attempt to establish the idea of the fecundity of the 
tropical tree I have already mentioned a staple raw material, 
rubber, a staple food of the Old World, the date, and one of 
the New World, the pejibaye. Now I cite another industrial 
commodity, a paint oil, which we might make from the kukui 
or candlenut tree, whose oleaginous seeds make a brilliant 
flame that lighted Polynesia for an unknown period of time 
before the Standard Oil can brought a cheaper illuminant. 

This tree grows or will grow, in many wet tropic lands. It 
has been officially reported 2 to produce five tons of nuts 
(analyzing 19.5 per cent, oil) per acre. It is a paint oil with 

2 "Kukui (aleurites triloba, or a. moluccana) is generally distributed 
throughout Polynesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Society Islands, India, Java, 
Australia, Ceylon, Bengal, Assam, China, Tahiti, Hawaii. It has been in- 
troduced into the West Indies, Brazil, Florida, and elsewhere. The tree 
has wide-spreading branches, attains a height of forty to sixty feet, and is 
characterized by large, irregularly lobed leaves of a pale green color and 
nuts about two inches in diameter containing one or two seeds. In Hawaii 
kukui is common on all the islands, being the dominant native tree of the 
lower mountain zone and easily recognizable at a distance by the pale color 
of its leaves. 

"Every one knows that the ground under kukui trees is literally covered 
with nuts of which few are used for any purpose at present. 

"At two hundred pounds of nuts per tree and eighty trees per acre there 
would be a yield of eight tons of nuts per acre. It has been found that alga- 
roba yields from two to fourteen tons of beans per acre. A good stand of 
kukui will give a larger product per acre and a conservative estimate would 
be five tons of nuts. On 13,000 acres the annual crop of nuts would thus be 
75,000 tons. 

"We may probably assume 15,000 acres as a safe estimate of the kukui 
in Hawaii. 

"From our experiments it appears easy for a man, woman, or child to 
pick up five hundred pounds of nuts per day. The nuts are, of course, to be 

FIG. 107. This Hawaiian papaya tree, with fruit 7 inches long and 6 
inches in diameter, illustrates the fecundity of tropical tree crops. (Cour- 
tesy J. E. Higgins, Honolulu, and Paul Popenoe.) 


■ •■ ■ 



S^V "■.%i£Sc'>" -r ..- 


j^^^^^H^BC -^ 

*»l-:Sfffi?t r , "■> U".i Ti 

*T ■'./' -^W>-f 


yt&JBiEfc- aiffliftmi. 


'- "aHHii.' * '"^ 

* — ' V^tr. *~ | 


• • ■■ 



' : 4 


^M[ I 

FIG. 108. Top. Dr. 
Shantz.)— FIG. 109. Bot- 
Central Congo, Egyptian 
Sudan, near Laurenzo 
Marquez, Mozambique; in 
Northern Rhodesia. ill 
Northern Transvaal, dry 
agricultural grasslands; 
agreeable fruit, oil-giving 
kernel; final value un- 
known. (Courtesy H. L. 
Shantz saw this tree in 
torn. A bunch of fruit of 
the pejibaye. Grows from 
Nicaragua to Ecuador, 
from sea level to 5000 
feet; seedless, indicating 
culture for ages; main 
food supply of many peo- 
ples. Our complete igno- 
rance of it is suggestive 
of undeveloped tropical re- 
sources. See Journal of 
Heredity, 1921. (Photo 
Wilson Popenoe.) 



use and price like that of linseed oil. Small quantities of this 
oil have been imported into the United States for seventy-five 
years. No one is making large commercial use of it at present, 
but it seems to be a remarkable waiting resource. 


The meteoric rise of the African palm-oil trade is one of 
the miracles of recent commerce. The oil palm widely scat- 
tered in the forests of western and central Africa produces a 
big fruit with an oily pulp surrounding a hard nut containing 
an oily kernel. For ages the African native has been boiling 
this fruit and skimming off the oil for butter fat. 

About the beginning of this century some of this palm 
oil reached Europe. It attracted the attention of manufac- 
turers, and Lord Leverhulme, English soap magnate, father 
of Sunlight Soap, sent scientific explorers to investigate the 

gathered free from the soft outside husk. Only an extremely small per- 
centage of the nuts spoil or turn rancid even after lying two years on the 
ground. The spoiled nuts float in water and may thus be easily separated 
from the sound ones. At thirty cents per one hundred pounds the laborer 
would receive one dollar and fifty cents for five hundred pounds, a day's 
work. The average oil content of the meat or kernel is sixty-five per cent. 
The kernel equals thirty per cent, of the weight of the nut. About 19.5 
per cent, of the nut is therefore oil. In the Sunda Isles where kukui oil is 
an important article of export, experiments have shown that ninety per 
cent, of the oil is obtained by commercial methods through the use of 
presses. The oil recoverable by commercial methods would thus amount to 
17.5 per cent, of the weight of the nuts. From one hundred pounds of nuts 
17.5 pounds of oil would be obtained, or a value of one dollar and seventy- 
five cents at ten cents per pound. 

"Kukui oil has been shipped from various islands of the Pacific to the 
United States for the past seventy-five years for use in making soap, paint, 
varnish, and artists' oil. The market price is the same as or slightly higher 
than that of linseed oil and varies with the price of the latter." (Hawaii 
Agricultural Experiment Station, Honolulu, Hawaii, Bulletin, No. 39, issued 
February 8, 1913, The Extraction and Use of Kuhui Oil, by E. V. Wilcox 
and Alice R. Thompson.) 

3 The palm is said to be second only to the grass family in the number of 
its species. When one considers its present productivity as resulting chiefly 
from unscientific chance, it opens interesting speculation as to what it might 
produce after a few decades of selection and breeding. 



commercial possibilities. Their reports sounded almost too 
good to be true, so this lord of soap checked up their ac- 
counts with personal journeys. As a result he established 
large plantations of oil palms in western Africa. This was very- 
easy to do, for the trees stand many to the acre over large 
areas of wild forest. The trade shot up, and Europe now 
imports hundreds of thousands of tons of palm kernels and 
palm oil. 4 This industry has sprung up almost as quickly as 
the rubber industry. 

Oil palm gives three distinct kinds of oils: 

1. The edible oil boiled from the fruit. 

2. The inedible oil pressed from the fruit. 

3. The oil of the kernel. The kernel has long been extracted 
from the nut by the African women working with two stones. 
A cracking machine now does the work. 

Meanwhile, this tree is running wild in Brazil, having been 
brought there by the early importations of negro slaves. How- 
ever, Brazil is not solely dependent upon the African oil palm, 
for it has one of its own, babassu, growing wild over a large 
area about the latitude 5° south and now in the process of 
being introduced into commerce. 


The ancient and well-known coconut with its rich oil and 
myriad uses need not be here expanded except to point out 
one fact that may revolutionize the economics of almost any 
kind of vegetable oil. Chemical researches have recently 
turned the strong liquid coconut oil into a sweet-flavored tal- 
low-like substance which now graces millions of European and 
some American tables in place of the more expensive butter. 

4 In 1911, the United Kingdom imported 25,000 tons of palm kernels. In 
1919 it was 317,000 tons. In 1925 Europe imported over half a million tons 
of kernels. 




Save for sugar most of the other standard tropic exports are 
tree crops — cacao, coffee, and tea, cinchona, spices, and Brazil 


I must mention two important tropical tree-foods that have 
not yet entered commerce. One is the papaya, a fruit resem- 
bling a cantaloupe but which grows in huge clusters from the 
upper part of the trunk. The other is the avocado or alligator 
pear, and this tropic delicacy offers an interesting dare to 
the commercial genius of man. The fruit is as large as a 
Bartlett pear, sometimes even twice or three times as large, 
and has a thick buttery meat which analyzes from fifteen to 
thirty per cent. fat. Porto Ricans sometimes chop it into 
little cubes and mix it with their rice as we might mix butter 
with our rice. This makes the rice (dietetically) into bread 
and butter. As a constituent for salad avocado furnishes the 

The avocado tree thrives from sea level to six thousand 
feet in Guatemala. A few are growing in California and 
Florida. But the real problem is to extract the oil so that it 
will keep — dry it or can it — or find some means of handling 
it fresh. 

In giving brief mention to this long list I make no attempt 
to be complete. I wish merely to try to suggest the riches of 
the tropics in tree-crop possibilities. 

Messrs. Dorsett, Shamel, and Popenoe 6 list twenty fruits 
in Brazil which they describe as little known. They have little 
doubt but that there are several hundred trees native to the 
tropical world and producing an important fruit not now of 

5 The Brazil nut of our market grows in a wild tree that towers above 
the Amazon forest, as the pecan towers over the oak tree of Indiana. These 
nuts go to waste by the millions of bushels. Only a small fraction of the 
crop is gathered and sent to the market. There are many other trees in 
these forests producing edible or oil-giving nuts. 

6 In Bulletin 445, Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Department of Agri- 



commercial utilization, but capable of it, and at the same time 
capable of improvement through plant breeding. 


Certain parts of the tropical world are in need of having 
tree crops developed even more extensively than at present. 
In a large part of the tropical world the main food supply of 
native peoples is some cereal. The system of production is to 
burn the forests, plant a crop or two of corn, and after harvest 
let the thicket grow again while another piece of land is 
cleared and burned to make a fresh field. This method de- 
stroys the forests. It devastates the soil. If a permanent field 
is made, the destruction is often even more sure and final. 
The torrential character of most tropic rainfall lifts field 
erosion to the plane of an economic terror. 7 

The soil destruction in India and Central America described 
by the papers just referred to shows that the tropic denizens 
are destroying their lands almost as rapidly with cereals as 
we are destroying ours in the southern part of the United 
States with corn, cotton, tobacco, and gullies, and like our- 
selves they are in need of development of tree-crop agriculture 
if the lands are to continue to serve the race. 


On both sides of the equator in latitude varying from six to 
ten or twelve degrees, the rainfall is concentrated into one 
season, and as a result the forest gives way to open parklike 
country called savannah, where trees are scattered over the 
grasslands. As distance from the equator increases, the rain- 
fall, trees, and grass diminish until finally the desert prevails. 

7 See (1) Bulletin of Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, No. S3, Cal- 
cutta, 1916. "Soil Erosion and Surface Drainage." Albert Howard. 

(2) "Afforestation of Ravine Lands in Etawah District, United Prov- 
inces," E. A. Smythies. Indian Forest Records, Calcutta, 1920. 

(3) Proceedings of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, Sec- 
tion 3, Conservation of Natural Resources. O. F. Cook, p. 573. "Possibilities 
of Intensive Agriculture in Tropical America." 



(See map, Fig. 136.) This grassland zone of the rainy season 
and the dry season is a latitude of famine for the reason that 
the tropic rainfall is the most unreliable in the world. An ex- 
amination of the distribution of rain by months (Fig. 135) 
shows how difficult is the problem of growing a cereal, which 
is at the present the chief dependence of the people. When 
should they plant it? The rainfall is so unreliable that they 
may plant two or three times and fail. But an established tree 
can wait for rain and use it when it does come and therefore 
has a better chance of harvest than an annual crop like sor- 
ghum, millet, and corn. Especially would this be the case with 
an extensive use of water pockets such as are used in connec- 
tion with the rubber in Malaysia. (Pages 244-245.) 



There are many tropical trees producing beans whose forage 
value and use are much like the honey locust and keawe. For 
example, babul is the most widely distributed tree in India. 
I saw babul trees in my first moments in India as I landed 
on the coasts of Coromandel from Ceylon. They were growing 
in white sand. I saw them at the foot of the Himalayas clinging 
to rocky slopes and again at the extreme west as I neared the 
port of Karachi. 

Everywhere the goat herder leads his flocks to these trees. 
Often he cannot wait for the beans to fall, but with a long 
hook he cuts down branches that his wards may eat the beans 
and also the leaves of the tree. In a year of bad drought these 
trees will be thus beheaded by the million. Often they stand 
in land too dry for dependable agriculture. 

The gigantic saman tree of India yields sugar beans greedily 
eaten and said to improve the quality of milk. 

In Cuba the guasima is left when pastures are being cleared 
exactly as persimmons are left in the pasture fields of Georgia. 



The bean is greedily eaten by all farm stock, 8 but I can get 
no measure of its actual productivity per unit of area. 

H. J. Webber, Professor of Sub-tropic Horticulture and 
Director of Experiment Station at Riverside, California, gives 
me the following facts. They are illuminating as to the pos- 
sibilities of native trees and suggestive as to the possibilities 
of introducing them from other places. 

"I found the carob in a few places in Rhodesia and in the 
Transvaal, and there are some references to the production of 
carobs in the Department of Agriculture reports from the 
Transvaal, and also from the Department of Agriculture of 
southern Rhodesia. Mr. Walters of southern Rhodesia issued 
a bulletin on the carob which was published by the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. I had not been in Africa long until I was 
impressed by the very large area in the central part of the 
country in the high plateau region where it appeared to me 

8 "In my section of the country in eastern Cuba, specially in Camaguey 
province, the cattle country of Cuba, the 'guasima' tree and the 'algaroba' 
are considered as valuable trees on account of the fruits that they bear in 
the dry season when the pastures are exhausted; in winter both fruits con- 
stitute a valuable food for the stock. Horses, cattle, mules, and hogs eat 
them. A great value is given to the fruit of the 'guasima' because the na- 
tive farmer considers that fruit is specially adapted to feed the horse. Our 
cattle man, our native 'guajiro' collects the fruit of the 'guasima' and feeds 
his best pony on it because his animal will grow on a fine coat of hair." 
(Letter, Dr. Emilio L. Luaces, Santiago de las Vega, August 25, 1916.) 

"The guasima tree is a native of Cuba but also of all tropical America 
and the species guazuma tomentosa is a native of Java too. Two species are 
known in Cuba as guasima. Guazuma ulmofolia, lam., and guazuma tomen- 
tosa, H.B.K. of the natural order sterculiaceae. Both are equally common 
and produce pods eaten by cattle. 

"The guasima is perhaps the most vastly distributed tree over the Island. 
It is found in all kinds of soils even in the heights, except in the very arid 

"It is a quick grower and begins to produce after the fourth year. 

"The guasima is used in Cuba mostly to feed the pigs, for which purpose 
when the forest lands are cleared up the only tree that is left is the guasima 
and sometimes the ceiba. 

"The 'portreros' (pasture land) in Cuba are characterized by the abun- 
dance of the guasima tree under which the cattle find shade and some 
food." (Letter, Republica de Cuba, Secretaria de Agricultura, Comercio y 
Trabajo, Estacion Experimental Agronomica, Departamento de Botanica, 
Agosto 25 de 1916, Juan T. Roig.) 



the carob would be an ideal crop. Few trees exist, however, in 
the country at the present time. I found a group of twenty 
or thirty trees on a plantation south of Untalli in Eastern 
Rhodesia where the trees were about fourteen or fifteen years 
of age and of fairly good size. I was told that they produced 
pods in abundance and that the cattle came to the trees regu- 
larly to get the pods and this was evidenced by the fact that 
the ground was trodden down all around under the trees. The 
owner of the plantation was convinced that the planting of 
carobs in that section would be of very great value. 

"There are a number of legumes native to South Africa that 
have pods similar to the carob, some of which are actually 
thicker and might be even more valuable if cultivated or 
if planted on good lands. I have not yet had opportunity to 
determine the identity of these trees. I saw one in the forest 
near Victoria Falls that produced a square solid pod about 
the length of the pod of the carob and an inch square prac- 
tically each way." 

This passage from Dr. Webber needs pondering — especially 
when one remembers that there are several million square 
miles of semi-arid tropic lands on which such trees might 


The tropic lands have great crop possibilities in their trees. 

The tropic lands have great need for a more dependable 
crop than the grain crops of today. 

The tropic lands exceed the temperate zone in the possi- 
bilities of tree-crop development through government agencies. 
Appropriations do not depend so much upon elected legisla- 
tures as they do in the temperate zone. Suppose the Director 
of the Experiment Station of Maine, Minnesota, Arizona, or 
Alberta should want to do big work as outlined in this book. 
I know that some of them have tried and have almost eaten 
their hearts out in running up against obstacles. 



If the Director of Station in Rhodesia, Sumatra, or the 
Punjab has a big idea, he may need but to convince a small 
council of intelligent men who are not politicians and who do 
not have to get reflected by a popular majority. 





- * 



R. 0. Lombard, gun in hand, crept softly through the thick 
forest in a Georgia swamp. He was hunting for wild turkeys. 
He heard a cracking sound. Peering around a clump of bushes 
he spied some hogs crunching acorns beneath a water oak. 
They were miles from any house. They were fat, ready for 
the shambles, and it was all of their own doing. The hogs had 
fattened themselves on swamp produce. 

As Mr. Lombard quietly watched the hogs, a thought struck 
him. "If they can feed themselves out here on the swamp, 
why can't they do it on my farm? Here they pick up a living 
in the fall when acorns are ripe. If I were to raise other tree 
crops on my farm, why could they not pick up their living 
the rest of the year too?" 

For the rest of his life Mr. Lombard (now unfortunately 
no longer living) had fun working out the idea of tree-crop 
farming, where pigs harvest the crops. When I saw him, he 
had two hundred everbearing mulberries, two hundred hog 
plums, two hundred wild cherries, three varieties of red haws, 
and mock oranges. 

1 "This plant is found growing in South Carolina to Florida and Texas. 
It begins to bloom in February and lasts until April. The small fruit which 
ripens in late summer is retained throughout the winter." (Letter, P. J. 
Berckman's Company, Augusta, Georgia, August 21, 1915.) 

Mr. Lombard thought them very fine winter hog feed. He also had a few 
trees of cudrania. 

"The name of the plant which you desire is cudrania tribola, No. 352, 
introduced by Professor Wilson of the United States Department of Agri- 

"We do not think this tree has been used to any extent by the people here 



The native persimmons, as they sprang up in his fields, 
were grafted to a productive variety of native American per- 
simmon, and in September when I saw them, the trees were 
bending down with unripe fruit. He had a large number of 
water oaks scattered about the place, and had been planting 
them systematically for years. 

As an exhibit at the county fair he had printed slips num- 
bering twenty-six crops 2 which were growing either wild or 
cultivated on his place. Some he said were of small value, 
but they were there. 

He had three hundred acres of fenced pasture. One-quarter 
of it was swamp. Some was hopeless-looking sand which Mr. 
Lombard said was "hardly worth the hole it filled up in the 

in the South, and we know of only two trees near our city and these are 
across the river in South Carolina. One of these trees bears a full crop 
every year, while on the other one the fruit drops before maturity." (Let- 
ter, Fruitland Nurseries, successors to Berckman's, Augusta, Georgia, July 5, 

2 1. Mulberries (Downing), April 20th to July 20th (dates of use). 

2. Mulberries (Hix), April 26th to July 20th. 

3. Mulberries (White), May 4th to June 26th. 

4. Huckleberries (Frog Eye). 

5. Huckleberries (large high bush), June 1st to July 1st. 

6. Huckleberries or Blueberries, June 5th to July 5th. 

7. Huckleberries (hog or ground), June 10th to July 20th. 

8. Wild Cherries, June 10th to July 20th. 

9. Blackberries (highland), May 26th to June 30th. 

10. Blackberries (swamp), June 5th to July 10th. 

11. Hog plum, June 20th to August 20th. 

12. Gooseberries, July 1st to August 15th. 

13. Haws, August 15th to September 30th. 

14. Haws, August 25th to September 30th. 

15. Haws, August 15th to September 30th. 

16. Muscadines, September 1st to October 15th. 

17. Dogwood berries, September 15th to December 30th. 

18. Black gum berries, September 10th to December 30th. 

19. Acorn (water oak), September 15th to April 1st. 

20. Acorn (post oak), October 1st to April 1st. 

21. Persimmons, September 15th to December 30th. 

22. Hickory nuts, October 1st to April. 

23. Pecan nuts. 

24. Chestnuts. 

25. Chinquapin nuts. 

26. Hazelnuts. 

FIG. 110. Top. Majorca. Heavy trees in the foreground, grafted oaks; 
feathery trees, almonds. The heavy trees on the steep hill at the back are 
oak (ilex), thinned out to make acorns for hog-fattening. — FIG. 111. 
Center. An Appalachian valley in Central Pennsylvania. The steepness of 
the hillside field is submitted as evidence of widespread agricultural insan- 
ity. — FIG. 112. Bottom. A grove of locusts (Robinia Pseudacacia) whose 
nitrogenous roots support a good stand of bluegrass on a shaly Allegheny 
Ridge in Central Pennsylvania where grass is rare. (Photos J. Russell 



earth." Some of the farm was in Bermuda grass. When I was 
there in early September, Mr. Lombard had a small field of 
cowpeas in some of the sand. The pigs harvested these as 
they did all the crops which grew on the trees. He reported 
keeping forty hogs all the time. Acorns, he said, kept his hogs 
fat for five months in winter, and mulberries did it for three 
months in summer. 


I venture to enlarge Mr. Lombard's vision. I see a million 
hills green with crop-yielding trees and a million neat farm 
homes snuggled in the hills. These beautiful tree farms hold 
the hills from Boston to Austin, from Atlanta to Des Moines. 
The hills of my vision have farming that fits them and re- 
places the poor pasture, the gullies, and the abandoned lands 
that characterize today so large a part of these hills. 

These ideal farms have their level and gently sloping land 

3 My friend, Dr. Deming, sees this farm (in part) thus: 

"I am going to ask you to look forward a quarter of a century or so and 
visit with me in imagination an ideal farm not too far from Hartford 
(Connecticut), owned by a farmer of unusual vision. 

"We find the public road skirting his land bordered on both sides with 
high-headed Stabler black walnut trees, beneath whose pendant feathery 
foliage we get unobstructed views of the fair surrounding fields. These 
trees yield annual crops of nuts which have the peculiar merit for a black 
walnut of shedding their kernels in unbroken halves when the nuts are 
cracked. The kernels readily fetch from eighty cents to a dollar a pound 
in the market and the cracking helps give winter occupation to the farmer's 
hands, which, by the way, he employs the year around. 

"The drive leading to the farmer's house is bordered with grafted Japa- 
nese heartnut trees with their huge semi-tropical leaves and luxuriant 
growth. Their nuts find a ready market uncracked or fetch a larger return 
for the labor of cracking out the easily removed kernels. 

"In favored places near the house and barn are a few English walnut 
trees whose dark green, fragrant foliage has an exotic charm and which 
furnish nuts enough for home use with an occasional surplus for market. 

"Around the ample kitchen garden is a sheltering hedge. Half of this 
hedge is composed of European filberts in interpollinating varieties that 
yield good annual crops of nuts. The other half of the hedge is of chinka- 
pins loaded in September with clusters of burs, each with its small, round, 
sweet nut, the joy of children. The chinkapins show the chestnut blight in 
places but nevertheless keep on bearing year after year." 


protected by mangum terraces (Fig. 120) and are intensively 
cultivated — rich in yields of alfalfa, corn, clover, legumes, 
wheat, and garden produce. This plow land is the valley 
bottoms, level hill tops, the gentle slopes, and flattened ter- 
races on the hillsides. The unplowed lands are partly shaded 
by cropping trees — mulberries, persimmons, honey locust, 
grafted black walnut, grafted heart nut, grafted hickory, 
grafted oak, and other harvest-yielding trees. There is better 
grass beneath these trees than covers the hills today. The 

From University of Illinois Circular No. 29o 

Cross-section of two mangum terraces, 65 feet apart, on a 10 per cent, 

crops are worked out into series of crops to make good farm 

It will take time to bring this miracle to pass. It will take 
time to work it out. First of all a new point of view is needed, 
i.e., that farming should fit the land. The presence on the land 
of the land owner is also needed. This is not a job for tenants. 
Let the tenant go down to the level land which carelessness 
cannot ruin so quickly. Not his the beautiful home in the 
beautiful hills. 

This is the place for the man who has the insurance point 
of view. Fortunately, insurance is now becoming one of the 
characteristics of this age. One of the best kinds of farmer's 
insurance is for him to build his hill farm over gradually 
to the tree-crop basis. 

How shall the hills be turned into tree farms, since otherwise 
they will be ruined sooner or later by plowing? The question 
really is, how can the unplowable lands be made to yield 
richly through trees? Before answering these questions em- 
phasis should be made upon three new pieces of agricultural 


1. Nitrate instead of cultivation, 

2. Irrigation from rain-fed water pockets, 

3. Hogging down the crops. 


At the mere suggestion of an uncultivated tree the devotees 
of the plow will rise up and say that trees need to be culti- 
vated. I will agree with them and quote back for their comfort 
a statement given me in France that the Persian walnut tree 
in the pasture bears only half as much as the tree that is 

The orthodox defenders of the plow and of cultivation were 
telling us twenty years ago that an apple orchard had to be 
cultivated. For the most of the clay lands of eastern United 
States this statement is now known to be merely a kind of 
fetishism, as some millions of Virginia and other eastern 
American apple trees yearly attest. The apple trees are 
fertilized. The theory of cultivation is that it increases the 
available food supply. I accept the theory. Facts seem to prove 
it. The same theory underlies the use of the commercial fer- 
tilizer. Experiments at numerous farms, and numerous experi- 
ment stations such as those in Ohio and Virginia, show apple 
trees that will bear two or three bushels in uncultivated, un- 
fertilized sod and will bear perhaps ten, fifteen, or twenty 
bushels if given a few pounds of fertilizer, preferably nitrate 
of soda. 

With an established tree in many soils and locations you 
may cultivate or you may fertilize, but in most naturally 
forested sections of the United States it is not necessary to 
do both. I claim that tree-crop experimenters can use fence 
rows and corners of land to grow trees without cultivating 
them, but please do not quote me as saying they can do this 
without fertilizing the trees. Furthermore young trees, if not 
cultivated, must be protected in the first years by mulch. I 
have proved in many cases, to my sorrow, that grass can rob 


a little apple tree and kill it, whereas three feet of mulch plus 
nitrate of soda will cause it to grow like the green bay tree 
of Scripture and bear more apples, alas, than I can sell. 
Experimenters growing nut trees and other crop trees can plant 
them in almost any kind of place if they will give the trees 
a smothering coat of grass mulch three or four feet from the 
trunk, and in addition give fertilizer and other attention that 
a cultivated tree should have. Guaranteed this treatment, most 
species will react as the apple does. When the top is large 
enough to shade the ground around the trunk, the trees can 
usually fight it out and make steady growth if abundantly 
fertilized. This statement is made for the naturally forested 
areas of the eastern United States. I do not know how far west 
it holds true. It is probably not true for the Great Plains. 


Legumes of grass size, bush size, or tree size can some- 
times be made grow beside the crop-yielding non-leguminous 
tree and fertilize it with nitrogen (page 65). These possibili- 
ties have been as yet but little explored in the temperate zones. 


Fig. 23 shows a method of making a pocket in the earth 
so that the water will remain upon the square rod where it 
falls. The effect of this is like that of cultivation or fertilizer 
because it increases available moisture and increases the 
available food supply of the plant. Irrigation by water pockets 
should be one of the devices of the agriculture of the future, 
particularly the tree agriculture. Once the pit is made the 
rains will automatically fill it, and the tree will irrigate itself 
for years with very little attention save an occasional cleaning 
out of the pit or ditch or terrace. Otherwise the forces of 
nature would gradually tend to level the pockets. 


This method of irrigation seems to have been invented in- 
dependently in several parts of the world. Unfortunately it has 
been used but little in any of them until this century. 

1. It was invented at an unknown time by the Arabs of 
North Africa. These people still build banks around their 
olive trees so that no rainfall will escape. Sometimes they let 
a rill from a nearby hill run into the catchment basin. 

2. Something of the same sort was invented by the late 
Colonel Freeman Thorpe of Hubert, Minnesota, who re- 
ported that it made Minnesota's black oaks grow twice as fast 
as their nearby neighbors that had missed the benefit of such 

3. A hole catching water and irrigating trees was de- 
vised by the late Dr. Meyer of Lancaster County, Pennsyl- 
vania. He had a gully in his orchard. He put a dam of trash 
across it. Water collected behind this dam. The doctor ob- 
served that the trees near it grew better than the rest. This 
caused him to keep men at work in odd times digging holes 
near his apple trees. The trees prospered and Dr. Meyer 
thought that it was profitable. 

4. A horizontal terrace holding rainfalls to irrigate trees 
was invented by Mr. Lawrence Lee, a graduate engineer and 
orchardist of Leesburg, Virginia. On his steep Piedmont clay 
hills, he says, "nine-tenths of the water of a summer thunder 
shower runs away." Aiming to reduce this, he put rows of 
apple trees across the hill at equal distances apart. He laid 
off one row on the absolute level. The others were thirty feet 
apart up or down the hill from this base row. As a result every 
furrow along the row planted on the absolute contour held 
water, whereas it drained away from the others because they 
sloped a little. In a few years Mr. Lee observed that the trees 
of the contour row which had the water lying above the trees 
at every rain were distinctly the largest in the orchard. 

He took the hint. He planted another orchard where every 
row was on the contour, the exact level. Then he used a Martin 


grader (made in Owensboro, Kentucky) with tractor, and 
made horizontal terraces that would hold water above every 
row of trees. Mr. Lee reports that there was no run-off from 
this orchard for several years. His orchard was called to my 
attention by an expert apple grower who saw it from a dis- 
tance and asked what had made the trees grow so much more 
rapidly than those in another orchard just across the road 
and which had been planted at about the same time. 

5. I have seen pits dug as big as a barrel to catch trash 
and water in coffee plantations on Porto Rican hills. When 
the pit is full of leaves and silt, they plant a young tree in 
this beautifully prepared seed bed. I am told that this practice 
is common also in Central America. 

6. These catchment pits have reached their most systematic 
development, and they are most extensively used under the 
name of silt pits in the tea plantations of Ceylon and rubber 
plantations of Malaya (Fig. 18), where they serve the double 
purpose of water-saver and soil-saver and have been dug by 
cheap coolie labor in thousands of acres of plantations. They 
are probably used in other parts of the Far East, but I have 
not seen them. 

7. Water catchment pits have been effectively used by the 
Indian Forest Service.* On steep, eroded land the rainfall pene- 
trated six inches without water pockets and four feet with 
water pockets. 

8. This idea has had its most suggestive development in 

4 The effectiveness of these water pockets in the afforestation of denuded 
and gullied lands in India (along the Jumma, Chambal, and other rivers, 
especially in the Agra, Etawah, and Jalaun districts of the United Prov- 
inces) has been little short of miraculous. Centuries of overgrazing by 
cattle, goats, camels, and ponies had destroyed protective vegetation with 
the result that half a million acres of alluvium had become a net work 
of ravines. The normal rainfall of fourteen inches rushed away so rapidly 
that it wet the soil but six inches deep. After the digging of water pockets 
water penetrated to a depth of more than four feet, and reforestation was 
surprisingly successful. Babul trees reached a height of twenty feet in four 
years. (Information from E, A. Smythies, of the Indian Forest Service, 
Dec. 28, 1923.) 


North Carolina where Mr. Lee, an engineer of Charlotte, 
North Carolina, has developed a fairly satisfactory engineer- 
ing technique to do this thing in the mechanized American 
way that we like to call modern. He makes the pits on a large 
scale on the cut-over pine land with no other object than that 
of saving water for his company's (Southern Power Company) 
power plants and increasing the growth of the timber. He 
calls them "terrace with back ditch." This is essentially the 
same device as that of Mr. Lawrence Lee (No. 4 above), al- 
though the men are unknown to each other. 

The water-holding terrace is merely a slight modification of 
the old drainage terrace so commonly used in the cotton fields 
of the South. (Figs. 23, 114, 115.) 

The terrace type of land management has the great draw- 
back of dividing a tract of land into small fields of irregular 
boundaries because the plows and cultivators cannot cross 
the terraced banks. However, tens of thousands of American 
cotton fields have been worked that way for decades. Any 
other way meant speedy ruin. 

Note the excellence of this terraced field for one who would 
convert his farm to cropping trees. His customary farming 
method can go on undisturbed while young trees grow on the 
terrace banks. It was in such a place that Governor Hardman 
had planted some of the honey locusts in his almost unique 
honey locust orchard. (Page 65.) 

The Small Terraced Field and the Tractor 

The man whose mind happens to be molded in the level 
land farming idea is usually much shocked by the idea of 
modern agriculture in the little narrow strip of land of vary- 
ing width between two terraces. Unquestionably it is awkward, 
and the cost per acre for working it is more than for working 
a wide flat area. Perhaps good management can make this pay. 
If we can only get out of the land-robbing philosophy and 
into the land-building philosophy, the little terrace may come 



into its own. The sloping field with natural drainage almost 
always declines in fertility. The little hillside terrace does not 
lose its good soil, but gets better and better. With care it can 
be made to yield fifty or seventy-five bushels of corn instead 
of the fifteen or twenty of the slopes. You can turn many 
corners for that difference. The increased yield made possible 
on terraced land can make it compete in cost with the wide 
rolling unterraced lands. 

If we get the concept of making the farming fit the land 
and then examine this little terraced strip we see the follow- 
ing facts. Its chief disadvantage appears when crops like corn, 
cotton, and tobacco are cultivated in rows. On these terraces 
there must be much winding back and forth of man and team. 
This disadvantage almost disappears if the land is sown to a 
broadcast crop such as alfalfa, oats, and other small grain, 
millet, cowpeas, etc., or soy bean or other legumes. Most of 
these can be harvested with the mowing machine and the 
hay rake, which require only a small amount of turning. Best 
of all, these crops can be harvested by the animals which bring 
us to the third new technique. 


The chief invention in agricultural economics in the past 
quarter of a century has been the harvesting of crops by the 
pigs. It has now gone far beyond the experimental stage. 
Each year in this country millions of acres of corn and hun- 
dreds of thousands of acres of clover, soy bean, cowpeas, pea- 
nuts, wheat, and other crops are not touched by human hand 
or by machine. The pig walks in and harvests the crop without 
cost and with much joy to himself. 

I would lay especial emphasis on the suitability of the hog 
for harvesting crops on the little winding strip of tilled land 

Two counties in southwestern Wisconsin hogged down twenty-seven per 
cent, of the corn crop in 1926. (W. J. Spillman, U. S. Department of 


FIG. 114. Top. Mr. Lawrence Lee's great invention — a water-holding 
terrace made on absolute contour with Martin grader. Trees, very small in 
picture, planted just below edge of ditch. 1 hey are growing admirably 
with no cultivation in an old worn field. It works. This is not mere 
theory. (Photo Lawrence Lee.) — FIG. 115. Center. Terracing cotton- 
fields, South Carolina. Water follows the gentle winding slope of the black 
lines. It would interfere with no machinery if rows of trees stood on the 
edge of these terraces. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr.) — FIG. 116. Bottom. 
Apple orchard planted on contour by M. B. Waite (U.S. Dept. Agr.), with 
irregular spacing of trees and short rows, but soil is saved though cultivated. 
(Photo J. Russell Smith.) 

Phnins 5. &*JttP $*jfffi 

FIG. 117. Top. Gulch irrigation of olive trees by the Matmata tribe of 
Berbers in Central Tunis. Rock dams have been built across the narrow 
valleys in limestone plateaus. Silt collects behind them. Every rain wets 
it all. The finest olive trees I have ever seen. Rainfall of 7 inches per 
year. FIG. 118. Center. Bank between two rows of Tunisian olive trees 
to prevent run-off of surface water. Rainfall 7 to 8 inches. Trees 70 feet 
apart. Increase of trees gives no increase of fruit. — FIG. 119. Bottom. 
Dr. J. H. Meyer, of Pennsylvania, at left, standing in a typical pit dug 
near an apple tree in bis orchard to catch surplus water. 


between two terraces. With hogging down of non-tilled crops 
there is only soil preparation and seeding to be done on the 
winding little terraced fields (see Fig. 115) — another reduc- 
tion of the handicap. 

Hogging down also permits a variety of foods to be eaten 
by the pig, which has a distinct advantage. 6 

If crop trees are on the terrace edge, hogging down permits 
trees to have the benefit of cultivation if the owner so desires 
and permits part of the hillsides to be cultivated. All parts 
can be profitable because that which is not cultivated can be 
covered by the trees and grass. 

These new techniques — nitrate instead of cultivation, fer- 
tilization by legumes, irrigation from the rain-fed reservoirs on 
the spot, and hogging down, taken in combination with ordi- 
nary pasture suggest an entirely new era of heavier produc- 
tivity of the unplowed and unplowable lands of the American 
farm. This is fortunate because over a large section of our 
country the greater part of the land as now arranged (page 
10) can be regularly plowed only to its ruin. 7 

A Possible New Technique 

The year after the Portuguese cork farmer strips his oak 
trees, the trees yield an enormous crop of acorns. Stripping the 
bark off injures the tree enough to scare it into yielding a big 
crop but gives no permanent bad result. This matter of crop 
stimulus through controlled injury is like whipping a horse. 
Its possibilities are for most crops unknown, but certainly 

6 See Farmers' Bulletin 441, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Feeding 
Hogs in the South. 

"In nearly every county in the Southern states there is from 25 per 
cent, to 75 per cent, of the land not in cultivation. Much of this land is of a 
character suitable only for the growth of grass and trees that would yield 
some revenue through stock feeding." (Archd. Smith, Professor, Missis- 
sippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, Agricultural College, Missis- 
sippi, letter, May 30, 1913.) 


worth experimental study. It may permit substantial increase 
of fruiting on many kinds of trees. (See page 12.) 


At the present time orthodox agriculture in America rec- 
ognizes but two uses for unplowed land — forestry and pasture 
of grass and leaves. 

This book finds its chief reason for being in the fact that 
pasture is a very low-grade use for land — low in return. Be- 
cause of the low return of pasture, man appeals to the plow 
and causes ruin. Much semi-poetic stuff has been written 
about the beautiful blue grass of Kentucky. It is beautiful, 
and it is good poetry stuff, but it is open to question if it is 
any more productive than good blue grass in adjoining states 
where careful test shows such pasturage produces the paltry 
harvest of but one hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds 
of live meat per year. The same is true of the rich and beau- 
tiful pastures of England. And there are millions of acres 
of rough pasture in the United States east of Kansas and 
north of the Cotton Belt which will not make over fifty pounds 
of beef or mutton in a year. 

These figures are little short of appalling when we remember 
that this meat is half waste. It is much less nutritious pound 

8 See Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletin 204. "The Man- 
agement of Blue Grass Pastures." This bulletin is in agreement with the 
following statements: 

"Two acres of good average grazing land in Missouri will furnish feed 
for one thousand pound steer for a grazing period of seven months. The 
steer will gain from 350 to 400 pounds." (University of Missouri, Columbia, 
October 8, 1913, F. B. Mumford.) 

"The most reliable figures are quoted in Henry's Feeds and Feeding, 
taken from a large number of cattle in three of the most important Corn 
Belt states. The yield of beef per acre as quoted here is as follows: 

Yearlings Two-year-olds 

Missouri 141 lbs. 159 lbs. 

Iowa 144 lbs. 156 lbs. 

Illinois 135 lbs. 156 lbs. 

(Letter, E. F. Ferrin, Ames, Iowa, September 30, 1913.) 
"Data have been gathered at this station and corroborated by the Illinois, 



for pound than most of the wild nuts that we store in the 
attic or permit to lie in the woods. 

The unplowable lands can be classified as: 

(1) Steep lands, 

(2) Rough lands, 

(3) Odd corners of lands including farm windbreaks, 

(4) Overflow and wet lands. 


1. These lands belong naturally in grass and trees and 
water pockets. If not too rough or too steep much of this kind 
of land can be cultivated in strips with water pockets and trees 
as above mentioned. In places that are too steep to be culti- 
vated the water pockets can still be used to save the land and 
nourish the trees. On land too steep to have water pockets that 
are large enough to hold all of the rainfall, small ones may be 
used for getting trees established and for partial irrigation. 

2. Rough pasture land. Here is one of the greatest wastes 
in land utilization in America. 

The low yield of these hilly pastures has just been men- 
tioned (page 268). Nearly all such areas have undergone cul- 
tivation by plow until by the processes of erosion most of 
the loose top soil has been removed, often to the depth of 

Iowa, and Missouri stations showing that the average gain per steer on 
grass without grain is approximately fifty pounds per month for the graz- 
ing period of six months. It. takes very good land to graze one two-year-old 
steer for each two acres, thereby making the yield of beef on good land 
150 pounds per acre. On cheap land where it requires more than two acres 
to furnish pasture for a two-year-old steer the yield per acre would neces- 
sarily be less. There are some parts of this state where it would require ten 
acres of land to furnish pasture for a two-year-old steer during the sum- 
mer (30 lbs. of steer per acre per year) and there are very few parts of 
the state where a two-year-old steer can be grazed on as small an area as 
an acre and a half." (Purdue University, Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Lafayette, Indiana, October 18, 1913, letter, F. C. King, Associate in Ani- 
mal Husbandry.) 

Similar figures, namely 150 pounds per acre, were found to be the mutton 
yield as a result of careful weighing and measurement of English grass 
yields by William Somerville, Professor of Rural Economy at Oxford Uni- 
versity, England. 


many inches. 9 Under these distressing conditions the yield 
diminishes until finally the place goes back to pasture. The 
amount of this loss in one or two decades will astonish one 
who looks up the facts. 

Using the Leguminous Tree as Source of Nitrogen 

I am sure that many of these pastures would have their 
productivity as pastures increased if they could be thinly cov- 
ered with a planting of some leguminous tree whose roots 
would gather nitrogen from the air and leave it in the earth 
where the grass roots could share it. I cannot prove that 
statement statistically, but on the other hand I believe that 
it is also true that there are no experiment stations in the 
United States that have data to disprove it or to prove it. 
Such data would be very valuable and reasonably easy to 

My opinion is derived from observing that good grass grows 
under locust (robinia) and honey locust trees in pastures, 
sometimes in places where nearby lands are desolately bare. 
I have seen conspicuous examples of this on some of the 
shale hills of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Certainly my 
opinion is backed up by an editorial in the Breeder's Gazette 

I believe the owners of such pastures in natural blue grass 
country would get more grass if their fields had compact 
clumps of about twenty-five yellow locust trees set one hun- 

9 See the very illuminating and discouraging article in American Forests, 
June, 1927, in which Mr. Hugh Hammond Bennett, United States Bureau 
of Soils, states, "On the watershed of the Potomac River the writer re- 
cently checked the amount of soil wastage over some of the mountainous 
country from whence comes the water supply of the national capital. It 
was found even on the smoother plateaus that from five to eight inches of 
top-soil had been removed from most of the cleared land. This condition 
obtained in many places where crops had been grown only fifteen or twenty 
years, and the exposed subsoil of clay and rock was so infertile that pov- 
erty grass was the principal plant seen in many pastures and abandoned 
fields. Remaining patches of original forest with their undisturbed virgin 
soil served as an index to what has happened." 

FIG. 120. Top. A mangum terrace. Man at left stands upon its crest. 
Man at right shows where water flows away across field. (Courtesy Agr. 
Ex. Sta. Univ. of 111.) — FIG. 121. Center. This typical Old World terrace 
from the Apennines of Italy prevents erosion at the price of much hand 
labor. Machinery can cross the device shown in Figs. 114 and 120. (Photo 
J. Russell Smith.)— FIG. 122. Bottom. Black Belt of Alabama. Shallow 
soil, one of best in the world, washed away to bedrock of white limestone 
in a few decades. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

FIG. 123. Top. Top of Appalachian shale hill. Soil too shallow to plow, 
yet supporting grass and trees, because roots penetrate the cracks. — FIG. 124. 
Center. Sorrento peninsula, Italy. Background, olives; foreground, walnuts. 
Every tree grafted. Most of the land utterly unplowable. — FIG. 125. 
Bottom. Centra] Tunis. Rainfall less than 10 inches. Olives, as far as 
the eye can see. Tree agriculture is the best of desert agricultures. 


dred feet apart. The roots would run under all the grass in 
. the field and nitrate it. The honey locust trees (Chapter VII), 
besides feeding nitrogen to grass (page 65), would yield beans. 
If such pastures had an open planting of honey locust 
interplanted with grafted walnut trees or grafted hickory 
trees, the honey locust could furnish nitrogen for the nut 
trees. If the run-off went into water pockets so that trees 
and grass could share all the water that fell, it would cer- 
tainly result in a substantial increase of grass, wood, and tree 
crops. The water pocket would also catch and hold the fine 
earth particles which the rain would ordinarily carry away. 
Thus fertility would be increased, and the land would be built 
up. It should be remembered that both locusts and the black 
walnut have open tops letting much light through. 


These differ but little from the steep land except that they 
are usually in better condition because they have escaped the 
scalping by a plow-mad race. 

The Rocky Knolls of Limestone 

Under the heading of rough lands mention should be made 
of the hundreds of thousands of fruitless trees now standing 
in the rough limestone fields of the great Appalachian Valley 
which extends from southern New York to northern Ala- 
bama. In certain sections, such as the Cumberland Valley, 
Shenandoah Valley, and the valley of east Tennessee, which 
have long been famous for a rich agriculture, the traveler is 
amazed by the great amount of outcropping limestone making 
patches where farm machinery cannot go. Here the good soil 
makes good grass, and often good trees have sprung up with- 
out the aid of man. 

This is prime walnut land, and the walnut is thoroughly 

This practice is much used in coffee, tea, and rubber plantations, but 
they have not yet used a harvest-yielding legume. 

.; -^ 


' ■ "i 

*>: :■>. 


at home. Here the present system of agriculture may remain 
absolutely intact, but supplemented by many million bushels 
of Persian walnuts and American black walnuts or hickory 
nuts or honey locust beans or acorns produced by trees 
standing in spots of land that the plow cannot touch. 


Every farm even in the flattest, blackest prairie of Illinois 
has some corners of land that are not cultivated and where 
the tree lover can make a few trials without interfering with 
the main business of the farm. There is the lawn. The beautiful 
(but worthless) elms, the fruitless sycamores and boxelders 
and the maples — oh, Lord! how many are the maples that 
throw down worthless leaves upon our pathways! To ornament 
the home nothing is more beautiful than the hickories and the 
pecans, and the various walnuts certainly rank high in esthetic 
value. They all have the additional charms of intellectual 
interest and a probability of nuts. 

Then also there is the roadside. In France and Germany 
tens of thousands of roadside walnut trees and roadside plum 
trees belong to the local government. The annual crop is sold 
on the tree, and a substantial saving of taxes results. Since in 
America the roadside land belongs to the owner, this is a 
possible source of income or a place of experimentation for 
those to whom land is scarce. 

The fence rows within the farm are even better than the 
roadside for experimental planting. On thousands of American 
farms the fence rows are almost lined with trees. In sections 
of northern Virginia, where I lived as a boy, it is not at all 
uncommon for farms of two hundred acres to have from fifty 
to two hundred trees scattered along their division fences and 
roadsides or even standing in the fields. Many of the trees 
are almost worthless, although some are the post-giving locust. 

A square farm of one hundred and sixty acres has two miles 
of boundary fence. If divided into four fields, it has at least 


FIG. 126. The fissured limestone on this mountain top on the Island of 
Majorca leaves almost no earth visible. But wild olives grow in the cran- 
nies, send their roots far down into the fissures, look healthy, are grafted to 
good varieties, and yield well. There are also some small pickings for 
sheep in the same enclosure, which was so fenced with thorn that I could 
not enter. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) 


FIG. 127. Top. These three magnificent chestnut trees, now dead with 
blight, suggest the effective use that can be made of millions of odd corners of 
land on our American farms. Indeed, millions of such places are now occu- 
pied by brambles, bushes, and other worthless or almost worthless vegetation 
and might just as well be occupied by some noble tree yielding nuts or other 
useful crop. (Photo J. Russell Smith.) — FIG. 128. Bottom. The wind- 
breaks around the prairie farmstead invite the tree breeder to discover trees 
that produce crops as well as wind-resistance. (Courtesy U. S. Dept. Agr.) 


one mile of inside fences. Crop-yielding trees along these 
fences will not interfere with the machine agriculture in any 
way. Of course the trees should not be there if they cannot 
pay with their own crops for the reduction of crops they make 
in the field. In a recent journey from New York to St. Louis, 
and thence to San Antonio, Texas, I was struck by the great 
number of fruitless trees standing in the midst of fields that 
were prime for machinery. 

Tens of thousands of farms have an uncultivated corner 
across the gully, beside a stream bank, or a chopped-out bit 
of woods. In all these places trees will grow. If the land is not 
pastured too hard, the seeds of walnuts and hickories and 
many others will grow up ready to be grafted in a few years 
by him who would experiment. 

The Windbreak 

"Oasis agriculture in the Sahara, Arabia, and other tropical 
desert regions is made possible, principally, by date palms, 
which act as windbreaks and as shade for tender plants be- 
neath, while drawing the wherewithal for a valuable fruit crop 
from the basement stories of the soil. 

Several hundred thousand square miles of the middle west- 
ern United States are so level that the wind fairly combs the 
grass because there are no hills or forests to prevent or disturb 
its close approach to the earth. 

In this region the farmers have planted windbreaks about 
their houses and farm buildings and now the agricultural scien- 
tist has found the windbreak is a needed protection to the 
grain field. 

"Measurements made in fields of small grain indicate that 
the crop gain in the protected zone is sufficient to offset fully 
the effects of shading and sapping. In a wheat field protected 
by a dense windbreak the gain amounted to about ten bushels 
per acre where the protection was most complete, and grad- 

R. C. Forbes, ex-Director Arizona Station, 


sidf . .: W 

•A #■ 

■ ■ 

. * * #* 


ually grew less as the distance from the windbreak increased. 
The total gain was about equal to the amount of grain which 
could have been grown on the shaded ground near the trees. 
The season in which the measurements were taken was not of 
high winds nor did it lack moisture. It would appear, there- 
fore, that in a windy year when evaporation was high the total 
gain for the field would much more than balance the loss." 12 
This statement ignores the value of wood or crop produced 
by the trees of the windbreak. 

That means that Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minne- 
sota, the Dakotas, and other states and other similar regions 
in other continents need to have thousands and tens of thou- 
sands of miles of long rows of trees. Perhaps they might be 
fruit- or nut- or bean-yielding trees l3 while stopping the wind 
and making wood. "Alfalfa grows almost to the base of honey 
locust trees." I4 


From Maine to Kansas and from Minnesota to Texas and 
Alabama there is much land which is uncultivated because it 
is threatened with overflow from some flooding stream at 
some time during the growing season. Therefore, the plow 
crops are unsafe and cannot be depended upon. Therefore, 
this, the best of land, usually remains in pasture. From Ohio 
and Iowa southward and southwestward this is the homeland 

12 The Windbreak as a Farm Asset, Farmers' Bulletin 788, United States 
Department of Agriculture, Carlos G. Bates, Forest Examiner. 

See also U. S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin, No. 1405. 

"I have long had in mind that we might some day protect one-quarter 
section by cutting it into ten- and twenty-acre fields and protecting each 
field with red cedar or other windbreak." (Letter, Albert Dickens, Horti- 
culturist, Manhattan, Kansas, August 3, 1916.) 

13 The element of overhead expense should be emphasized here as a profit 
aspect. It seems to be established that the farmer should have a windbreak 
for its own sake as a windbreak. Therefore, every dollar of profit from 
fruit, nut, bean, or wood is a dollar of clear profit. Overhead expense as a 
business factor has not been sufficiently appreciated in American agri- 

14 Farmers' Bulletin, No. 1405, The Windbreak as a Farm Asset, p. 6. 

of the pecan and the big nut shellbark hickory. This is also 
the home of several other hickories and of the black walnut. 
These very fertile meadows, these little Nile valleys, are the 
natural home of a two-story agriculture, pasture beneath, tree 
crops above. Owing to the high water level from the nearby 
streams, the moisture supply is usually abundant. Owing to 
the overflowing of muddy water, fertility is so abundant that 
the high-headed pecans, hickories, walnuts, honey locusts, 
oaks, or other trees can bear their maximum crop 15 without 
causing much diminution of the grass at their feet. I venture 
to suggest that enough pecans to supply the world's market 
for the next thirty years can be grown on such unplowable 
overflow lands in the proved homelands of the pecan. (Chap- 
ter XIX.) 


Suppose some one wishes to start a tree-crops farm. How 
shall he begin? The answer is plain. Begin gradually. One 
thing this book is most emphatically not: it is not a recom- 
mendation to the business interests of the United States to 
plant out a large tract of any crop-yielding tree. Such one- 
crop-gambling enterprises have overhead charges which usu- 
ally eat them up. A farm on the contrary already carries its 
overhead charges and an intelligent farmer can start experi- 
menting with trees with no element of additional overhead — 
no purchase price of land, special tools, or anything but the 
trees themselves and the few things that may be directly used 
with the trees. 

To one who is now farming and wishes to try tree crops, 
the thing to do is to go on with his farming as before. Start 
some trees in a small way. Try a few of several species or 
varieties. Experiment with them. Let the business grow in the 
light of experience. In due time the farm can be made over as 
things prove themselves. It can be done gradually in the same 

b This land has the lowland disadvantage of frost, but this is mitigated 
by the low (or absent) cost of trees that care for themselves. 


way that annual payments build up a life insurance invest- 
ment. Men regularly pay life insurance so that their widows 
and orphans may have an income in later years, — in very 
much later years we all hope as we do it. We regularly lay 
aside money to be used after we are dead. With this point of 
view in mind, I wish to point out that the hickories, for ex- 
ample, offer tens of thousands of farmers an opportunity that 
probably beats five per cent, bonds as a means of adding to 
the estate. Page 279 shows a suggested ultimate objective. 

Wherever there is a piece of rough land naturally set to 
hickory and suitable for pasture, the hickory timber can be 
cut down. The stumps will often throw up suckers, which grow 
with much speed for a few years. Cattle will not eat them, and 
the suckers can soon be grafted. At the height of six or eight 
or ten feet, the new-set graft is safely out of the reach of pas- 
turing animals. After it is grafted, a little care for a few sea- 
sons, such as tying in the grafts and painting the wounds, 
will see them safely healed over. Two or three prunings in the 
winter time suffice to completely establish the graft and give 
it a monopoly of the root. After this you can forget (unless 
you love trees) your investment of twenty-five or fifty cents. 
Then after five or ten years more or less, your graft will prob- 
ably begin to pay one hundred per cent, or more on the cost 
every other year and will keep it up for several generations. 
Meanwhile the field has always been a good pasture and you 
have been going on with your farming, while Nature, slightly 
aided, has been turning your pasture into a valuable property. 

If the tree grower wishes to begin by starting with nursery 
trees, he can buy grafted trees of the following species to 
be used as human foods: 

1. Northern pecans and southern pecans — many varieties. 

2. Shagbark — several varieties. 

3. Hybrid hickories. 

16 See H. D. Spencer, Secretary, Northern Nut Growers' Association, for 
list of nurserymen. 


4. Hickory-pecan hybrids. 

5. Black walnut — several varieties. 

6. Persian walnuts — several varieties. 

7. Japanese walnuts (heartnut) several varieties. 

8. European filbert — many varieties. 

9. American hazelnut — several varieties. 

10. Hazel-filbert hybrids — several varieties now are or soon 
will be available. 

He can probably secure now or soon a few Chinese seedling 
chestnuts from the Department of Agriculture, or he can buy 
any year some Chinese chestnut seed. By the time his trees 
are large enough to graft he can probably secure cions of some 
blight-proof oriental chestnut or hybrid. 

For forage crops he can secure grafted mulberries, grafted 
persimmons, both native and oriental, honey locust seedlings, 
or honey locust seed from which to grow trees to be grafted 
in place a little later when good varieties are known. 

The best producing oak trees within ten miles of the place 
of residence of most people of the United States will make 
interesting grafting experiments. 

Interplanting Different Species 

Interplanting of different species will be an important device 
in tree-crop farming. To provide early returns quick-maturing 
species can be alternated with slow-maturing. 

To secure fertility leguminous and non-leguminous trees 
may be interplanted so that the non-legumes may derive nitro- 

17 Yokohama Nursery Company, Woolworth Building, New York City, 
will fill your order if placed early enough. 

IS The mulberry tree is a promising filler crop. It grows rapidly, bears 
young, and is unusually resistant to shade. 

"The mulberries are in general quite tolerant of shade. This is shown 
not only by the fact that the trees bear fruit throughout the crown and even 
in quite dense shade, but also in the fact that the young seedlings are able 
to grow for a long time under the shade of other trees." (Letter, George B. 
Sudworth, Dendrologist, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Jan. 23, 1923.) 

Therefore, every third tree in every third row in a mulberry orchard 
might be a pecan ninety to one hundred feet from its nearest pecan neigh- 



gen from the legumes. Thus nut trees, including oaks, might 
be permanently interplanted with the leguminous honey locust. 


Tree crops have unusual merits for agriculture in some lands 
too dry for plow farming. If a competition were opened for 
the driest farmers in the world, I should enter as promising 
contestants the Berbers who live in the Matmata section of 
central Tunis. Their average rainfall is about eight inches a 
year It is often less than this, yet they are the owners of the 
finest olive trees I have seen in my journeys through Spain, 
Portugal, Algeria, Tunis, Italy, Palestine, and Syria. These 
trees are of record-breaking excellence though growing in a 
climate of record-breaking aridity. Why? The Berbers build 
dams of dry stone wall across gullies in a limestone plateau 
(Fig 117). At every sudden shower, water rushes down the 
gullies sweeping a certain amount of loose soil. This catches 
behind the dams. Olive trees are planted in this soft earth. 
Every shower that produces a run-off in the gullies soaks this 
evergrowing mass of collected top soil so that one-half inch 
of rain may give these trees in the rich gully pockets the 
equivalent of six, eight, or ten inches of rainfall because of the 
thorough soaking of the collected soil mass. 

This practice of gully-shower irrigation could be used in 
the arid parts of America and every other continent. In a cer- 
tain modified sense, it has already been copied in America. A 
Montana bulletin describes the building of barrages and the 

bor The pigs as they pasture the mulberry would hardly miss the ninth 
tree which was a pecan Gradually the towering pecan would overspread 
the low-topped mulberries, paying for their scalps with nuts. Similarly every 
fourth tree in a mulberry orchard might be a grafted black walnut, grafted 
English walnut or grafter hickory. As these crowded out the mulberry fillers 
to nurse along the orchard which would be paid for almost from the be 
ginning by the automatic harvest of the neighboring filler trees. The pre- 
cocious and bush-like hazels, filberts, and hybrids thereof have interesting 
filler possiblities. 

4a acres 



Hickory and Honey 
Lofcust and pasture 

Acorn Oak, and Honey Locust 

*nd pasture grasses 



i$ acres 

Watnui and Honey 

Locust and pasture 




5 acres 




5 acrea 5 acres 
Walnut ! Fersiuunon 
and and 
Mulberry [ Honey 
and Locust 
pasture I and 
grasses i pasture 
J grasses 


S acres 




5 acres 



Wheat. Com, and 

AJtaUa 23 acres 


s acres 








gen from the legumes. Thus nut trees, including oaks, might 
be permanently interplanted with the leguminous honey locust. 


Tree crops have unusual merits for agriculture in some lands 
too dry for plow farming. If a competition were opened for 
the driest farmers in the world, I should enter as promising 
contestants the Berbers who live in the Matmata section of 
central Tunis. Their average rainfall is about eight inches a 
year. It is often less than this, yet they are the owners of the 
finest olive trees I have seen in my journeys through Spain, 
Portugal, Algeria, Tunis, Italy, Palestine, and Syria. These 
trees are of record-breaking excellence though growing in a 
climate of record-breaking aridity. Why? The Berbers build 
dams of dry stone wall across gullies in a limestone plateau 
(Fig. 117). At every sudden shower, water rushes down the 
gullies sweeping a certain amount of loose soil. This catches 
behind the dams. Olive trees are planted in this soft earth. 
Every shower that produces a run-off in the gullies soaks this 
evergrowing mass of collected top soil so that one -half inch 
of rain may give these trees in the rich gully pockets the 
equivalent of six, eight, or ten inches of rainfall because of the 
thorough soaking of the collected soil mass. 

This practice of gully-shower irrigation could be used in 
the arid parts of America and every other continent. In a cer- 
tain modified sense, it has already been copied in America. A 
Montana bulletin describes the building of barrages and the 

bor The pigs as they pasture the mulberry would hardly miss the ninth 
tree which was a pecan. Gradually the towering pecan would overspread 
t the low-topped mulberries, paying for their scalps with nuts. Similarly every 
jfourthtree in a mulberry orchard might be a grafted black walnut grafted 
English walnut, or grafted hickory. As these crowded out the marries 
the farmer might put in another tract of nut trees with mulberry fillers to 
nurse along another orchard which would be paid for a most from the be- 
ginning by the automatic harvest of the neighboring filler trees._ The pre- 
cocious and bush-like hazels, filberts, and hybrids thereof have interesting 
filler possibilities. 

■' Ji 



40 acres 

IS acres 

Hickory and Honey 
Locust and pasture 

Acorn Oak, and Honey Locust 

l grasses 


i pasture grasses 


IS £ 



Walnut and Honey 

Locust and pasture 



5 acres 

5 acres J acres 

5 acres 


Walnut ! Persimmon 


5 acres 


and and 




Mulberry Honey 




and < Locust 




pasture J and 




grasses i pasture 





(5) ; (o 


5 acres 

Wheat, Com, and 

Alfalfa. a 

2 acres 













impounding of run-off gully water in grain and alfalfa fields 
to the great improvement of the crop. 

This device, however, has much wider possibilities with trees 
than with grain and hay for the reason that grain and hay 
require wide areas, while a tree can stand at the bottom of a 
gully in a ravine. 

Here is an interesting possibility for the million or more 
square miles of arid lands between Kansas and California, 
and between northern Alberta and southern Mexico. At pres- 
ent millions of arroyos (gullies) waste their rushing waters at 
the time of occasional rains. These gullies might become rows 
of useful trees fed and watered by the gully itself. 

Perhaps the water of gullies could be led into long hori- 
zontal trenches or field reservoirs reaching long distances 
across the face of the slope and lined with the fruit-yielding 
trees which would be watered every time the gully flowed. 
This practice would be closely akin to the one common in 
parts of Shansi, a Chinese province southwest of Peking with 
scanty rain. There in the agricultural villages one of the com- 
mon sounds of summer nights is the booming of the temple 
gong as the priests walk through the streets awaking the peo- 
ple to the fact that there has been a shower on the hills and 
the gullies are running. The population scurries out armed 
with shovels and diverts water from gully to field. 

I have seen these fields months in advance all prepared, the 
field banked around, and gullies with dams so that when the 
first rain came it would irrigate field number one. Shovel out 
the dam, and the water would flow down and irrigate field 
number two; and so on. 

May not the use of cement, accurate leveling devices, road- 
scraping machines, tractors, and dynamite in America put 
rain-catching devices on a basis that is not only mechanized 
but almost automatic, so that the gully water might fill our 
field reservoirs while we slept? 

Plant breeders might produce hardy and productive strains 



of almond, olive, apricot, oak, mesquite, honey locust, walnut, 
or other fruiting trees which could be planted out in the ar- 
royos of the arid Southwest so that the sheep ranches of our 
own country might be dotted with productive trees in a man- 
ner identical to that of the Berbers who have dotted their 
sheep and goat ranches with olive trees and date palms. 
Enough of this has been done in Kansas to merit much more 
attention than it has received. 

Examination of the map will show (Fig. 136) that every con- 
tinent has large areas of grass land or scrub land on which 
this is about the only possible form of agriculture. 

The world needs immediately eighteen or more experiment 
stations whose staffs are experts in the breeding of desert 
trees/ Each of these stations would have on the average a 
million square miles of land to serve. Each station would pos- 
sibly increase the productivity of at least fifty thousand square 
miles or thirty-two million acres. Suppose five dollars 21 per 

" "Taking advantage of run-off water in order to give trees an increase 
in moisture over the natural fall is, as you doubtless conjecture, an old and 
common method. The Experiment Stations at Colby and Tribune have taken 
advantage of this, and it is quite the common thing in the parks. The park 
at Colby was planted for this purpose, and the trees have made very satis- 
factory growth. . . . 

"The past twenty years I have visited every county in the state, and the 
forty western counties would have from five to twenty units and the aver- 
age perhaps fifteen. The area would be harder to estimate. Probably a couple 
of acres for each location. 

"The value of trees has been more from ornamental and esthetic points 
of view than from production of food. The mulberry and apricot are 
quite generally grown in the dry territory and produce some food. The 
black walnut is generally planted more for the production of nuts than for 
timber. Mulberry of course is not a high-class food, but it attracts the 
birds and is quite commonly planted." (Letter, Professor Albert Dickens, 
Horticulturist, Kansas State Agricultural College, Manhattan, Kansas, 
March 24, 1927.) 

20 In Alberta, Texas, Arizona, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Turke- 
stan, northwest China, India, eastern Palestine, Turkey, Sudan, Rhodesia, 
Cape Colony, North Australia, and South Australia. See map. (Fig. 136.) 

21 These trees would have to be scattered over wide areas. This would 
enhance their value exactly as the value of the irrigated land of western 
North America is enhanced by the fact that it is scattered. As the irrigated 
land is chiefly in alfalfa, the haystacks scattered over a million square 


acre per year were added to this thirty-two million acres — a 
rather large result to follow from an endowment of one or 
two millions. 

The variation of plants of the same species has received fre- 
quent mention. One more point needs to be presented in con- 
nection with the idea of breeding desert trees. They some- 
times vary fifty per cent, or more in the amount of water re- 
quired to produce a given result. This variation within the 
species suggests an interesting line of experimentation with 
different species and strains, 22 to find the most efficient for 
particular places. 


Lastly I wish to submit the thesis that the trees now unused 
or little used as crop mediums may be the best kind of crop 
for some of our levelest and most arable lands. I have in mind 
a two-story agriculture with tree crops above and tilled crops 
beneath. By analogy I would recall the French practice 
(page 166) of scattering walnut trees all over the farm while 
going on with the farming. This does not sound alluring to 
the machine-using American, but let us consider it. Suppose 
you had a farm on the sandy plain somewhere between New 
York and Galveston. You are growing hogs and letting them 

miles combine with the adjacent range land to support animals and the 
family in a way that could not result if all the irrigated land were in one 


Similarly millions of scattered fruit, nut, and bean trees in the ranch 
country would meet their greatest need in helping to feed both the family 
and the flocks, with occasional small surpluses or specialties for export. 
The chief cash value would reach the world market in form of meat and 
wool and hides in exchange for an infinitude of manufacturers. 

See "Water Requirements of Plants as Influenced by Environment," 
L. J. Briggs, and H. L. Shantz, Proceedings, Second Pan-American Scien- 
tific Congress, Washington, 1915. 

The variety of wheat having highest water requirement was eighteen per 
cent, above the lowest, corn thirty-one per cent., vetch thirty-five per cent., 
alfalfa forty-eight per cent., sorghum sixty per cent., and millet seventy per 
cent. I regret that Messrs. Briggs and Shantz did not test trees. I should 
expect similar results among them. 





* i 

kte .V N : da-da* 

- Wis - 

FIG. 129. Top. A hillside pasture made doubly fruitful by grafting 
suckers of chestnut trees in a clearing. — FIG. 130. Bottom. Tall-headed 
pecan trees planted by owner in cow pasture of rented dairy farm. The 
two stakes support the tree. The barbed wires keep the cows from rubbing 
the stakes. The pieces of old rubber hose by the man's finger protect the 
tree from the stakes. This invention is freely given to the public. The 
trees were mulched and manured. They are thriving in the pasture of a 
rented farm. No overhead cost. The latest improvement in this technique 
in land too rough to do as in Fig. 23 is to dig a two-bushel hole above 
tree, plow furrows leading water to it for shower irrigation. Try it. 
(Photo J. Russell Smith.) 

FIG. 131. Top. Northern Algeria. Rainfall, 20 inches. Pasture land 
scattered with wild olives. — FIG. 132. Center. Same locality as Fig. 131. 
Hill which was like Fig 131 has had all its trees grafted to become like 
Fig 124. — FIG. 133. Bottom. Abandoned farm buildings. Abandoned 
house. Abandoned Pennsylvania hills. The level land agriculture would 
not pay. 


harvest a series of crops with, perhaps, cotton in the series as 
a cash crop. You plant out most of your farm with pecan trees 
in rows two hundred feet apart, fifty or one hundred feet apart 
in the row. This is not much of an interference with plowing, 
harrowing, planting, or tillage. Save for the cotton and prob- 
ably some corn you have no harvesting operations; the pigs 
do that and little trees do not interfere with them. Little trees 
do not interfere with harvesting cotton or corn. 

After you have planted your pecans, walnut, hickory, honey 
locust, grafted oak, or other large-growing productive trees as 
just described, you go on with the hogging-down crop rotation. 
Gradually the trees grow to gigantic size and maximum pro- 
ductivity, meanwhile the hog farming goes on beneath the 
trees to the benefit of the trees, but the crops from the trees 
more than make up for the reduction in the forage and cotton 
crop series. 

Concerning this two-story agriculture it is a little-used fact 
that some plants do not require full sunshine for maximum 
growth. Mr. H. L. Shantz of the United States Department of 
Agriculture states 23 that experiments with artificial shading 
showed that when the light was so decreased as to range from 
one -half to one-seventh of normal illumination a general in- 
crease in growth resulted in potato, cotton, lettuce, and radish. 
Corn made its best growth in full light. 

When we know more about this subject, we may be able to 
work out a crop rotation that will actually do better when 
taken from full sunshine to the partial shade made by some 
kinds of crop-yielding trees, especially in our southeastern area 
of abundant rain — Cotton Belt and Corn Belt. 

Bulletin, No. 279, Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department 
of Agriculture, Effects of Artificial Shading on Plant Growth in Louisiana, 
H. L. Shantz. 





Considered from the standpoint of permanent resources a 
large part of the United States is on the road to economic 
Hades, going rapidly, by way of gullies, and few there are who 
seem to realize the significance of the catastrophe. 

The idea that a foreign country might get possession of some 
little island on the coast of Maine or Florida or Texas would 
bring thousands of Americans to their feet willing to fight and 
perhaps to die that this speck of land should not pass to the 
possession of another nation." Yet these same men who would 
fight to prevent change in national ownership of a piece of 
land have little compunction about destroying land in their 
own country. By neglect they are often destroying an acre or 
two in a season. Thousands of them are doing it yearly, now. 
In a single generation each of tens of thousands of Americans 
destroys enough land to support a European farm family for 
unknown generations of time. 

These land-wasters think that they are patriotic citizens. 
We need a new definition of patriotism and a new definition 
of treason. 

1 For example, the hillside shown in Fig. 5 is within one hundred miles 
of Washington. It is fairly typical of thousands in the whole Piedmont area 
that reaches from New York to Alabama. The County Demonstration Agent 
in the county where that picture was taken seems never to have heard of 
the mangum terrace (Fig. 120), and his chief, the state Chief of Extension 
Work, tells me that he did not know there was need for such a thing in 
that area which is typical of thousands of square miles of rolling hills im- 
poverished and gullied by erosion. 

" If it did pass to some other national ownership, it would still be the 
same piece of land. It would still have the same good for humanity that it 
had before the fight. It would even continue to be the private property of 
its previous owners. 





Take as an example the hills of New England and the Ap- 
palachian hills and ridges. This area has one of the most 
wholesome climates in the world, a climate that helps man to 
be healthy and vigorous both in mind and body. 

It has one of the most agriculturally dependable climates in 
the world. The land is not visited by the droughts and famines 
that are so often and so feelingly referred to in the Old Testa- 
ment and which desolate so vast an area of South America, 
Africa, Australia, and Asia. These American hills have one of 
the best of climates to feed man's body with food and his mills 
with raw material. 

These American hills are variegated with beautiful flowers 
in spring, clothed with green in summer. The glory of autumn 
foliage, its red, brown, yellow, and gold set off by the ever- 
greens, makes one of the most beautiful landscapes in the 
world, fit to inspire man's spirit and lift it above the prosy 
but useful bellyful of nuts that lies beneath the falling leaves. 
Yet this wholesome, dependable, and beautiful land is in agri- 
cultural decline. Much of it is desolated and abandoned. The 
old agriculture of the level land has been tried upon the hills, 
tried and found wanting. 

The hills are gullied. The fields are barren. Tenantless 
houses, dilapidated cabins, tumbledown barns, poor roads, 
poor schools, and churches without a pastor — all are to be 
found in too many places. No wonder that whole townships 
are for sale and at a cheap rate. But these neighborhoods 
might be transformed through tree-crop agriculture. 

"One phase of the rough land situation which has interested 
me greatly here in southern Indiana is the present hopelessness 
of the economic condition of the people who try to make a 
living there by the use of 'flat land methods.' They can't be 
good American citizens — they are too poor. Your program af- 
fords hope for such people and regions." 3 

3 Letter from Stephen S. Visher, Indiana University, May 18, 1928. 



The tree-crop agriculturist must be a home owner, not a 
shifting tenant. A half million square miles possessed by land- 
owning small farmers is a greater basis of national strength 
and endurance than the landless and roving crowds of humans 
who, in the cities, shift from apartment to apartment and surge 
back and forth on the trolleys, subways, and elevated railways. 


And this transformation of the hills cannot come about 
through the action of government in any democracy unless it 
be some small, compact, economically patriotic, well-educated, 
and intelligent one like Switzerland. Government may possibly 
be able to do it in countries governed from above like a trop- 
ical colony of a European power, but there is no use in wait- 
ing for government in the United States of America. In Amer- 
ica it depends chiefly upon private enterprise; probably it 
can come only through private endowments skillfully managed. 


What a game preserve a collection of good crop trees would 
make! The trees would both shelter and feed the animals. 
This job is worth doing for that purpose alone by a naturalist 
and big-game hunter of great means. 


An examination of the world regions map (Fig. 136) will 
show that every type of climate that is found in North America 
recurs in other continents. Some of them recur in every con- 
tinent. Therefore, this book is one of world-wide application. 
Since I am an American and have spent only two and one- 
fourth years in foreign lands, my philosophy is naturally illus- 
trated chiefly with American facts. But the philosophy is of 
world-wide application. The regional map shows in what parts 
of the world a given tree has some chance of thriving. Con- 

FIG. 134. The maple trees down the lane with their sap buckets produce 
a toothsome and wholesome sugar. They are suggestive in their income, 
and suggestive in the fact that they have not yet been subjected to scientific 
improvement. (Courtesy H. R. Francis, N. Y. State College of Forestry.) 








» a 




*'i .. 


-, J i>- 


- 3d 

i ■ 


■^ s 



B^E -1™ 


«H ~ 











i - 




* ^ 








Q _l ^ *: 
It — " 

|Sf g 

OS* 5 

■5 — m iu 










■ - 



<■ - 

HiM |IH" 

B ' 

■ 4- 








- Li 

« k 

s * rf 1 
< <* s s 




I - S^j 


- Ch* 


£ -^ 


1 H" 

B = 

1 lit 








J Gi 






H ■* » 

'i -. u oi 

_M * 







H iu 

H H >*■ 

■ > 







1 a 






■ ; 

■ -■ ti * 




■■ B 3 


H u. 

■ - 

■^■^^H i^D - 




3 -> I 


<= i 





;.-?i;n m ;■] 

^ e- 


-~- ... 

"J v 

a »e 


q m f 



*3 ■*-■ — 

s- -a 


■aw jj-g 


lit | 



versely it shows the parts of the world in which we have a 
chance of finding trees that are likely to thrive in a given area 
within the United States. 

In most cases a crop that is a success in one continent has 
several more continents in which to spread itself. For example, 
experiments by government agriculturists in India seem to 
indicate that mesquite seeds from California and Hawaii have 
been planted in several localities in India with apparent suc- 
cess. Since most of India suffers from drought, this is a fact 
of vast significance. The chapter on the tropics gave some 
inkling (page 252) of the valuable but unused tree crops that 
Nature has already developed in arid lands. 

Suppose we should work out a tree-crop agriculture along 
lines indicated and suggested by this book. What might it 
mean for the United States? 


This table 5 shows that in 1925 less than one -fifth of Massa- 
chusetts was improved land in farms and less than one-eighth 
of the land of the state was in crop; that West Virginia has 

Total harvested crop Total crop land and pasture 

land land other than woodland 

Acres Per cent. Acres Per cent, 

(thousand) of area I (thousand) of area 

Massachusetts . 625 12.1 1,072 20.8 

New York .... 8,290 27.1 I 12,467 40.8 

West Virginia . 1,677 10.8 5,304 344 

Ohio 10,703 41.05 I 17,979 68.9 

Iowa 21,466 60.3 29,505 82.9 

Illinois 19,755 55,07 26,700 74.4 

Tennessee 6,209 23.2 10,922 40.9 

Oregon 2,592 4.2 10,385 16.9 

California 5,723 5.7 21,045 21.1 

4 Kunhikannon, K. (Department of Agriculture, Mysore). Agricultural 
Journal of India, Vol. XVIII, Part 88, pp. 144-147, 1 fig. Calcutta, London, 

5 From Yearbook, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 



even less of her land in crop; while Iowa, a state blessed with 
much level land, has four-fifths of her land improved and 
three-fifths actually in crops. 

Now the soil and climate of Massachusetts and West Vir- 
ginia are such that certainly ninety-five per cent, of their land 
area would grow crop-yielding trees of some profitable variety. 
Therefore it seems fair to assume that tree crops may easily 
increase by five- or six-fold the crop-yielding area of New 
England and of the Appalachian region of which West Vir- 
ginia is a type. 

When one adds to this the large amount of rolling land, too 
steep for permanent agriculture of the present type, to be 
found in the non-mountainous parts of eastern states and the 
rolling sections of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois (Fig. 4), Iowa, Wis- 
consin, Missouri, Kansas, and other states, it seems a con- 
servative statement to say that tree crops by utilizing steep, 
rough, and overflow lands could double the crop-yielding area 
of that part of the United States lying east of the one hun- 
dredth meridian. 

By utilizing the same sort of land in the foot hills of the 
Rockies, the Sierras, the Cascades, and the Coast Ranges it 
would seem probable that tree crops could double, perhaps 
more than double, the present crop-yielding area of the Rocky 
Mountain and Pacific states. Note the California figure, only 
5.7 per cent, of her area in harvested crops. This use of crop 
trees on the slopes of mountains in semi-arid lands (Fig. 132) 
indicates that there are many tens of thousands of square 
miles waiting in the arid parts of the United States, Mexico, 
Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. 


If the gully water that now runs away in arid regions should 
be utilized for isolated crop trees in the manner indicated in 
the last chapter (Fig. 117), at least one million square miles of 



semi-arid land west of the one hundredth meridian in the 
United States might possibly have its productivity doubled. 


The continuance of geological surveys and technical inven- 
tion seems to reveal unexpected supplies of some of the min- 
eral resources, especially oil (from shales), but no credible 
estimator finds an explanation of our declining lumber out- 
put other than declining timber supply. In other words our 
western civilization with its vast use of raw material seems 
to be inevitably moving into a shortage of wood and timber. 
In our present civilization the refuse of the grain agriculture 
is straw, almost worthless and quite generally wasted. In con- 
trast to this the tree crops, once established, will leave a sub- 
stantial annual by-product of wood. Only a little of it will be 
saw timber, but this fact is of declining importance in this 
period when the use of wood in the form of pulp, paper, carton, 
and even paper board is increasing rapidly. 


Suppose that four-fifths of the hill lands east of the one 
hundredth meridian were in crop trees whose productivity 
made it profitable for the farmers to cover their lands with 
water pockets or terraces with back ditch (Fig. 23). This 
would mean a greatly increased amount of water held in the 
ground from rainy season to dry season. This would make de- 
creased flow in the spring of the year with many streams carry- 
ing in the minimum period several times their present flow. 
This would mean improved water supply for cities and for 
river navigation. 


We are entering the age of almost universal distribution of 
electric power. To make this power we are rapidly building 
reservoirs to store mountain water for power purposes. And 




these reservoirs are being filled up by silt, at a rate which 
promises an untimely end. Reservoirs built in Algeria by the 
French have been completely filled. Most of this silt in east- 
ern America is produced by wastage of fields through a pre- 

e~-.fl JJllJ. rtft llAR. APR. MtCt JUNE: JUJ.V iUO StPT- OtT- HQV. ptc_ 
„™ lOSO U» KJM »M 10 K> HJO tO 20 1020 10 20 W 20 10 2D ID St) 

i : 'iM Ii i 

^^ ~j " T 

1 i H ill ■ a i 

MiiMinrw! nr mmmw 

■ 1 IMBflll ' "'■WW"* 1 ' 


This graph shows (in part only) the actual amount of water day by day 
for a year in a small North Carolina river. In this particular year the 
maximum discharge per second was 104,640 cubic feet; the minimum was 
2420; the average was 8636. Suppose masonry reservoirs had raised the 
minimum to 6000, while water terraces raised it to 7500 and protected the 
masonry reservoirs from filling — at the same time that they doubled the 
agricultural output and quadrupled the agricultural valuations. 

ventable erosion. The tree-crop agriculture with field water 
pockets would keep most of the silt on the land where it is 
needed. This would greatly prolong the life of reservoirs. The 
storage of water in little field reservoirs would increase the 
minimum stream flow and therefore minimum water supply 
and therefore power output at minimum seasons. Since this 
low peak in power development is a very damaging factor, 
these water pockets would have a very great influence on the 



capital value of power installations. It should be remembered 
that it has been done already for its power and timber value 
alone (page 265) and for its agricultural value alone (page 


If four-fifths of the hill lands east of the one hundredth 
meridian had water pockets large enough to store all ordinary 
rains, the flood problems on our rivers, including the Ohio 6 
and the mighty Mississippi, would possibly be so much re- 
duced in size as to cease to be a serious economic menace to 
property situated in their flood plains. 

Every continent can use these advantages. America has no 
monopoly on these possibilities of increasing the proportion of 
crop land, the usable resources of wood, of water, of naviga- 
tion. Other continents also may mitigate the extremes of high 
and low water in their rivers by detaining the rain upon their 
uplands in water pockets and terraces with back ditch. 


The ability of tree crops to increase the world's food is sug- 
gestively shown in a table invented by W. J. Spillman (see 
page 305). 

6 After the great flood of 1907 Pittsburgh created a Flood Commission. 
The Commission investigated and recommended a series of reservoirs in 
the mountain defiles upstream from Pittsburgh to hold flood waters until 
the flood danger had passed. These expensive reservoirs, if built, are 
destined to rapid filling, if the short-lived mountain farming of the present 
type continues with its gullies. But if the agricultural land were in water 
pockets, these would catch the silt which otherwise fills the reservoirs, would 
hold back much more water than the reservoirs themselves held back. It 
would thereby increase the available resources of flood control, of water 
power, of navigation, and would benefit every town from Pittsburgh to 
New Orleans. Too bad some Pittsburgh millionaire does not make a dem- 
onstration of this on a few thousand acres. 




American Breeders Magazine, 1910, "Breeding and Use of Tree 

American Forestry, April, 1917, "Food Producing Trees" 
Atlantic Monthly, Aug., 1914, "The Agriculture of the Garden of 

Century, July, 1914, "Two Story Farming" 

May, 1916, "Dry Farmers of Rome" 

Dec, 1916, "New Farmer and His New Water Supply" 

Everybody's Magazine, Sept., 1912, "Making Trees and Plants to 

Harper's, Jan., 1913, "The Agriculture of the Future" 

May, 1914, "The Real Dry Farmer" 

Harper's Weekly, Sept. 12, 1914, "Avocations that Counted" 
Review of Reviews, March, 1916, "Farming Appalachia" 
Science, June 12, 1914, "Tree Crops as a Control of Erosion" 
The Country Gentleman, June 28, 1913, "The Doctor's New Job" 

July 5, 1913, "Nut Farming for Tomorrow" 

Nov. 8, 1913, "Nut Trees That Bear Dollars" 

Dec. 6, 1913, "Pecans and the Patient Waiter" 

Dec. 27, 1913, "Pigs, Peas, and Pecans" 

Jan. 24, 1914, "Propagating Chestnuts" 

Jan. 9, 1915, "Neglected Northern Pecans" 

Oct. 8, 1915, "Riehl Fun from Nuts" 

Dec. 4, 1915, "A Georgia Tree Farmer" 

Jan. 8, 1916, "Shade Trees That Bear Nuts" 

Jan. 22, 1916, "Grafting Walnuts and Hickories" 

June 17, 1916, "English Walnuts in the East" 

Mar. 22, 1924, "Hog Feed on Trees. (A Georgia Tree Farmer.) 

The Farm Journal, April, 1925, "New Light on Nut Growing" 
The Geographical Review, Jan., 1916, "Oak Tree and Man's En- 
The Journal of Heredity, Feb., 1916, "The Persian Walnut, a Type 

The Saturday Evening Post, July 10, 1909, "Plows and Poverty" 






Soil Erosion a National Menace. H. H. Bennett and W. R. Chap- 
line. U. S. Dept. Agr. Circular No. 33. 

Is the United States a Permanent Country Like North Europe- 
Arthur J. Mason. Homewood, 111. 
These two are perhaps the most important in this collection and 

merit the attention of all thinking persons. 

Erosion and Denudation in the Southern Appalachians. W. W. Ashe. 
U. S. Dept. Agr. 

Soil Erosion. W. J. McGee. U. S. Dept. Agr., Bureau of Soils. Bul- 
letin No. 71. 

Washing of Soils and Methods of Prevention. J. G. Mosier and 
A. F. Gustafson. University of Illinois, Agricultural Experiment 
Station. Bulletin No. 207. 

Gully Control. M. R. Bentley. Agricultural and Mechanical College 
of Texas. 

Keep Our Hillsides from Washing. A. R. Whitson and T. J. Dunne- 
wald. Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Wis- 
consin. Bulletin No. 272. 

Controlling Surface Erosion of Farm Lands. F. L. Duley, University 
of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin No. 211. 

Range Preservation and Its Relation to Erosion Control on Western 
Grazing Lands. Arthur W. Sampson and Leon H. Weyl. U. S. 
Dept. Agr. Bulletin No. 675. 

Soil Erosion in the South. R. O. E. Davis. U. S. Dept. Agr., Bureau 
of Soils. Bulletin No. 180. 

Soil Erosion in Iowa. E. E. Eastman and J. S. Glass. Iowa State 
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Bulletin No. 183. 

Gullying and Its Prevention. F. H. H. Calhoun. Clemson Agricul- 
tural College, South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station. 
Circular No. 20. 

The Washed Lands of Indiana: A Preliminary Study. M. L. Fisher. 
Agricultural Experiment Station, Purdue University. Circular 
No. 90. 




Soil Improvement for Worn Hill Lands of Illinois. C. G. Hopkins 
and J. E. Readhimer. Agricultural Experiment Station, Univer- 
sity of Illinois. Bulletin No. 115. 

Soil Erosion. George Roberts, J. B. Kelley, and E. G. Welch. Col- 
lege of Agriculture, University of Kentucky. Circular No. 129. 

Erosion and Surface Run-off Under Different Soil Conditions. F. L. 
Duley and M. F. Miller. Agricultural Experiment Station, Uni- 
versity of Missouri. Research Bulletin 63. 

Soil Washing. P. H. Stewart and I. D. Wood. Agricultural College 
Extension Service. The University of Nebraska Extension Cir- 
cular No. 123. 

Gullies — How to Control and Reclaim Them. C. E. Ramser. U. S. 
Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bulletin No. 1234. 

The Control of Soil Washing. M. F. Miller. Missouri Agricultural 
Experiment Station. Circular No. 78. 

Papers on Soil Denudation by Agricultural Officers in India. Indian 
Tea Association. Calcutta, 1917. 

Our Waste Lands. E. N. Lowe. Mississippi Geological Survey 

Observations on Soil Erosion. William Torrance. Pretoria, 1919, 
Union of South Africa. Bulletin No. 4. 

The Prevention of Soil Erosion — The Use of Concrete. Iowa State 
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Ames, Iowa. Exten- 
sion Bulletin No. 80. 

The Prevention of Soil Erosion — Checking Overfalls. Iowa State 
College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Bulletin No. 74. 

The Prevention of Soil Erosion — Filling the Large Ditch. Iowa 
State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Extension Bul- 
letin No. 77. 

The Removal of Mineral Plant-Food by Natural Drainage Waters. 
Kentucky State Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin No. 


The Soil Saving Dam. Missouri College of Agriculture. Circular 
No. 14. 

Timely Soil Topics, The Control of Soil Erosion. Ohio State Uni- 
versity. Bulletin No. 40. 

Report of the Work Done at Holly Springs Branch Experiment Sta- 
tion, 1913. Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Forests and Water in the Light of Scientific Investigation. Raphael 
Zon. U. S. Dept. Agr. Forest Service. 




The Removal of Mineral Plant Food by Natural Drainage Waters. 
J. S. McHargue and A. M. Peter. Kentucky Resource Bulletin 
No. 237, 1921. 

Our Waste Lands, a Preliminary Study of Erosion in Mississippi. 
E. N. Lowe. With an appended address on Mississippi's agri- 
cultural potentialities by Dr. W. J. McGee, Washington, D. C. 
Nashville, Brandon, 1910. 23 pp. 


"Erosion and Floods in the Yellow River Watershed." W. C. Low- 
dermilk. Journal of Forestry, Vol. XXII, No. 6, October, 1924, 
pp. 11-18. This article is peculiarly appalling. 

"Erosion Control in Japan." W. C. Lowdermilk. Oriental Engineer, 
Vol. VIII, No. 3, March, 1927, pp. 3-13. 

"Torrent and Erosion Control in Japan." W. C. Lowdermilk, Ameri- 
can Forests and Forest Life, Vol. XXXIII, No. 404, August, 
1927, pp. 474-479. 

"Soil Erosion and Conservation." T. R. Sim. South African Journal 
of Industry, Vol. II (1919), No. 8, pp. 715-724; No. 9, pp. 
867-881; No. 10, pp. 962-968; No. 11, pp. 1034-1042. 

"Soil Erosion of Soybean Land." F. L. Duley. Journal of the Ameri- 
can Society of Agronomists, Vol. XVII, pp. 800-803, 1925. 

"Special Relation of Forests to Rivers in United States." W. W. 
Ashe. In Report of Inland Waterways Commission, 1909. 

"Economic Waste of Soil Erosion." W. W. Ashe. Review of Reviews, 
April, 1909, Vol. XXXIX, No. 231, pp. 439-443- 

"Soil Erosion and Forest Cover in Relation to Utilization of Water 
Power." W. W. Ashe. In Engineering World, August, 1923, pp. 

"Consideration of the Problem in Ceylon." Bibliography. Tropical 

Agriculture, Vol. LXI, pp. 155-161, September, 1923. 
"Control of Soil Erosion." V. Overholt. Agricultural Engineering, 

Vol. Ill, No. 47, March, 1922. 
"Erosion and Flood Problems in California." E. N. Munns. Journal 

of Forestry, Vol. XXI, pp. 523-525, March, 1923. 
"Methods of Checking Erosion of Farm Lands in Iowa." M. H. 

Hoffman. Engineering News Record, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 28, 

July, 1921. 
"Prevention of Soil Erosion on Tea Estates in Southern India." 

R. D. Anstead. Tropical Agriculture, Vol. LXI, pp. 153-155, 

September, 1923. 



"Report to and by the Direction of the California State Board of 
Forestry in Pursuance of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 7 
on Erosion and Flood Problems in California." 165 pp., bibli- 
ography, illustrations, map, 1923. California State Board of 
Forestry, Sacramento. 

"Soil Erosion as a Research Problem." W. H. McPheeters. Agricul- 
tural Engineering, Vol. V, pp. 158-160, July, 1924. 

"Soil Washing or the Surface Erosion of Cultivated Lands." A. C. 
Jennings. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal, Vol. XX, pp. 647-652, 
December, 1923. 

"To Prevent Erosion Is Fundamental Consideration in Soil Con- 
servation." B. S. Clayton. Farming, Vol. XXI, p. 116, July, 

"Erosion in the Appalachian and Piedmont Regions." R. O. E. 
Davis. Illustrated. American Forestry, Vol. XXV, pp. 1350- 
1353. September, 1919. 

"Holding Back Accumulated Fertility." F. E. Bear. Illustrated. 
Ohio Farming, pp. 147-362, September 25, 1920. 

"Millions in Soil Washed Annual from Hillsides." H. B. Bliss. Farm- 
ing, Vol. XIX, p. 117, October, 1921. 

"Soil Erosion Dam." H. J. Metcalf. Illustrated. Hoard's Dairyman, 
Vol. LXII, p. 281, September 30, 1921. 

"Soil Erosion in Iowa." M. H. Hoffman. American Society of Agri- 
cultural Engineers Transcript, Vol. XIII, pp. 93-100, 1920; 
same, illustrated, American Thresherman, Vol. XXIII, pp. 8-9, 
January, 1921. 

"Power of Soils to Resist Erosion by Water." W. A. Burr. Irrigation 
Age, Vol. VIII, pp. 235-236. Tables. 1895. 

"An Erosion Study." G. N. Coffey. Journal of American Society of 
Agronomists, Vol. V, pp. 230-232, 1914. 

"The Weathering and Erosion of North and South Slopes." Glenn 
Culbertson. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 
1899, pp. 67-170. Illustrated. 1900. 

"Economic Waste from Soil Erosion." R. O. E. Davis. U. S. Dept. 
Agr. Yearbook, 1913, pp. 207-220. Plates. 1914. 

"Soil Erosion from Early Plowed Wheat Land." F. L. Duley. Journal 
of the American Society of Agronomists, Vol. XVII, pp. 731- 
734. Tables. 1925. 

A Working Erosion Model for Schools. D. C. Ellis. 1912, 11 pp., 
illustrated. U. S. Dept. Agr. Office of Experiment Stations. Cir- 
cular No. 117. 

Denudation and Erosion in the Southern Appalachian Region and 



the Monongahela Basin. L. C. Glenn. 1911. 137 pp., illustrated, 
plates, maps. U. S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper 72. 

"Waste Through Soil Erosion." M. F. Miller. Journal of the Ameri- 
can Society of Agronomists, Vol. XVIII, pp. 153-160, 1926. 

"A Double Waste from Hillside Wash." A. H. Purdue. Tennessee 
Geological Survey, Resources of Tennessee, Vol. Ill, pp. 119- 
136, illustrated, 1913. 

"Erosion of Kansas Soils." R. I. Throckmorton. Kansas Board of 
Agriculture. Biennial Report, 1915-16. Vol. XX, pp. 170-178, 
illustrated, 1917. 

"The Erosion of Soil or Washing Away of Our Farms." S. W. War- 
field. Tennessee Dept. Agr. Biennial Report, 1903-04, pp. 115- 
120, 1905. 

"Forest Windbreaks as a Protection to the Light Soils of the Co- 
lumbia River Basin." G. L. Clothier. 1914. 13 pp., illustrated. 
Washington State College Extension Publications, Series 1, 
No. 4. 

"Competency of Wind in Land Depletion." C. R. Keyes. U. S. Dept. 
Agr. Monthly Weather Review, Vol. XLV, pp. 57-58. 1917. 


Terracing Farm Lands. C. E. Ramser. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers' 
Bulletin No. 1386. 

The Mangum Terrace in Its Relation to Efficient Farm Manage- 
ment. J. S. Cates. U. S. Dept. Agr. Bureau of Plant Industry. 
Circular No. 94. 

Saving Soil by Use of Mangum Terraces. E. W. Lehmann and F. P. 
Hanson. University of Illinois Agricultural College and Experi- 
ment Station. Circular No. 290. 

Prevention of the Erosion of Farm Lands by Terracing. C. E. Ram- 
ser. U. S. Dept. Agr. Bulletin No. 512. 

Terracing in Oklahoma. G. E. Martin. Cooperative Extension Work 
in Agriculture and Home Economics, State of Oklahoma. Cir- 
cular No. 218. 

Terracing in Texas. J. C. Olsen. Agricultural and Mechanical Col- 
lege of Texas. Bulletin No. B-51. 

Terracing Farm Land. Deane G. Carter. Extension Service, College 
of Agriculture, University of Arkansas. Extension Circular 
No. 182. 

The Terrace in Mississippi. John W. Carpenter, Jr. Extension De- 



partment of Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. 
Extension Bulletin No. 9. 

The Prevention and Control of Soil Erosion in North Carolina with 
Special Reference to Terracing. F. R. Baker. N. C. Agricultural 
Experiment Station Bulletin No. 234. 

Terracing in Oklahoma. M. R. Bentley. Oklahoma Agricultural Ex- 
tension. Circular No. 96. 

Terracing in Alabama. Extension Service. The Alabama Polytechnic 

Terracing Farm Lands. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bulletin No. 998. 

Terracing in Texas. Agricultural and Mechanical College, College 
Station, Texas. Bulletin No. B-23. 

The Mangum Terrace. College of Agriculture, University of Mis- 
souri. Circular No. 98. 

Terracing Farm Lands. C. E. Ramser. 1918; reprint, 1920. 36 pp., 
illustrated, diagrams. U. S. Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bulletin, No. 




Barley ■ , . 



Wheat bran \ 

Cottonseed meal (sooii) 

ASfalfaliny 1 

Alfalfa'. ............. 

Potatoes K 

Turnips ' 

/in>:fV Locust 1 

U.5.D.A. Grounds 

New Men, Ast. Col, 1 .. 

Carab: JSnlirr licox ' 
Italian. .. .. + ..,,,..., 
Partuanese, .,,.,.,.., 

AlfOfnif or Ktant ' ' 
Sample No, 1.. . ...... 

Sample No. 2. ....... , 

tttswilt Bmbs » 
Hawaii: S (amplej. . . , , 
Ariloaa: A Fn-mplcs. , , , 

< " sUf, ; a samples 

New Me*-: ( (amplt, . 
Tcxaa: 7 smmptefl. , . . _ 
N. 14". TerniUa bcana. . 

H-ntHilr- Tfet * 

No. 13J.3 *, 

No, I34S ' " 

No. liTJ 1 " 

PcMlS, 1 0% . , 

Setds, vr% ■ 

Cnrgb Bean ' 
Podi and Setdji ' 

1704- ■ 

Minimum ,..., 

Mri^lrmina. . ........ 


Pods without seeds 




1493 - 



AVETH£C ..... 




10, 6 

90, 6 


a, a 






7. 69 

11. gi 

is. Si 

13. 3B 

13. 27 


11, Jo 



S 9 


a. ft 

3 ^« 

a. 1 






a. 71 





36, S 
1 J 



10 , (a 





13, J3 








a, 40 







^ t 

13 S 





31. ay 

34. S 







P. 06 

a. 44 


IS -31 

Fat a? 

06. g 
71. 1 

ST. 1 

10. 3 





Si. 4 

61. 8 

55. Si 
54 60 



39. so 

40. aS 

34. 4« 











9. 40 

3. $3 




3. oil 


3. a? 

Ft cm in 



II. s 


11. i 











13. 06 


41. S6 






S3, 1? 

'United Stsites Decmtnusnt of Agriculture, Bihkju of Aninscl Husbandry. The rarbo- 

hydrftieeiiiiiValentBliowniiithelsatcciiluniiiof the tabfe is tile nun of Ltie digeeLihlc erode fibet 
and nlirogen-fvee titract, pluaa jj Umefl the disestlhie int. 
4 United SaUitcp TJepfli'tiOcnt af AErfculLur^ flulhetln Nn, TTQ4. 

* Anilype Nt>, 15053 IHbc Div, United States Dfp*rtmriit of Acricuiture, Eunjau of Plant 
Iniuttry, WMbJnjfcJD, D. C., sj an UJimuilly broad- cmdded variety of honey loenet pudJ 
qitjiLned nnar Etounilf of Nrw Mraico Agrtenlturn! CoiUie!, Meillla, New Mriica. 

I Hawtilt Agnqnttural Eiwrinient Statinn, Buliettn No, T3, Ednrntd C Shorey, chemlit. 

' Coraim*lti™i of Entire VleBnuite Senns. Analysen from "Tiit Mesyuite Tree" by Kobert 
H, r-Orbes, BKllfiUn No, 13. Arlfona EiTMriment Station. 
' BallHln Nq. 309. Univeiiby of CaliEomiB. "The Nutritive Value of Lbo Carob Bea^. , ■ 
f ProwjplH julEtlom; Entire t^ahit, 

* G^1ttH?r£d; Aupn^t ] no RtllitQ Rrver. 

* Rumple furnished by N, R L Powelf of Pettoi Bee Cotupetry, aent by W. J. Spillman. 
1° Gatbered October "7, on Santa Cnjs ftiver, 

II It sbould be nnticed that these maximum and minimrmi Egiirea refer to a particular element 
in a number of different aamplia. They me not complete aBalysea of one sample like Noa, 1704, 
aaao. aaoi. a.371, and 3403- 





From Farmers' BulhH?i No. 68$ U. S. Department of Agriculture. 




BirickbeiTies. .,.,.... 

Cherries , 

Currants. .,,. 

Dates ** 


Grapes * ' . . . , 

Oranges (N^velJ 

Peaches * s , 


Persimmons J1 *. .,, 

Pluma.. , 

Raspberries , 






IB. 60 







■ 7* 


■ 43 




■ 51 

5 r . 










56. 59 ' 
17, ii* 
a. 26 

Ji 74* 
3 513 
5 36 










1. 51 

1 Dista, Willi nceB\lam si noted, tram Bureau of Chemiatry BuJIettri, No. 66, be. 4i~4». 

» Dry mutter. 

' Averag* of eleven aBnfvies, See "Chemistry nmt Ripenins of the Date," Ariaana Agri- 
cnlturd Etpenmerit. Station Bulletin No. 66, p, 408, 

< Sec "Principle of Nutrllion and Nutritive Value of Food." Farmers' Bulletin No. 141, tj, iS. 

I Adapted from the two publications mentioned In footnotea 3 anii 4. 

' Fats and carbohydrates. 

5 See "Usa of Fruit aa Food," Fcirmera' Bulletin No. J93, p. 14. 

1 &x "Tlie AlnericFLnPErsi[[lm^>n, , ■ Indimu Experiment Biatiun Bulletin Mo. 60 fiSstf), 0. S9, 

1 Nitroien-Iree eitract. 

"Ayeraiie of eix analyses in "The American Persimmon," Indiana Emerlment Station 
Bulletin Mo, 6s (1896), 




Eiitljk Portia* 



Kind of Food 





Sugar , £„,& 




//air sW Ntu Product?; 





SS % 




Acorn. Itiaii ■ . .\ , . ..>. . . . 



4 4 


jo.d 4.a 

13.8 J. 6 

47, On 












17- 4 

6s. e 

$.1 3,0 


3. 1 10 


♦ J 



61. a 

4.P i.l 



Candle Nut - - . - 

3, 030 




10. T 


41.3 *,5 

70.1 3-0 



Chestnut, dry.. ■ -vj ....... ■ 


Horn Chestnut, or Water 


I ■ t * ' 

10; | 

10. g 


73.5 1-4 







13,7 8-9 



Filbert b.. 



16. s 



Ginkgo Nat (seeds). 




43.1 -0 



6a. 30 


IS -4 






J. 4 



4-3. J 

14.7 a-4 
a.s 3-7. 

a. 3 


Pine Nut, PiiSan,. .,,♦.,,-.,, 




61, !> 

tT.3 .-■ 



Piae Nut, Spanish, m pignolii 

(shelled* . 



33. p 



6. J I,4 J 

3. a 




14. s 


lft.7» 1.3' 
5.3 ■ 1.0* 


P, pinca *. . . . ,,,+,,,... 

P. jjerardlana ',,,.,♦♦♦♦, 




33.4 l 0,9' 







Walnut (Pewiati) , 





13.7 a-3 



Walnut (Amer, Bh\rk) 


a. 5 


56". 5 

II. 6 


3.1 OS 

Almond Fi .!ij, 'i ..,„,., 

3. » 





Peanut Butter, , — .,,-,- - > i 

. . i . - 

a. i 


<6. { 

17. 1 



Malted Milts. ,..,.,,.. 



13. 7 





Caeoanul. desiccated 

+ .... 




So. a 



Chestnut Floor. 

. . , 1 ", 





30, fi 

a. ■ 

45-0 10. 1 


a. 7 

11, 7 





Qthtr Poods {or C'it*uari:nn: 
Meat, Hound Steak. , 

« . » ." ■ 

6s- 5 

IB. 5 



Cheese. Cheddar 



4.1 ,<■■ 



WfreM Hour, hish gxada. . . - ■ 






74-S "-J 






p. 3 

I. ft 

53.6 i 
55-3 4-4 



Potatoes - 



3. a 


1B.0 .4 



35, ao 



14, 6 



13.3 1.3 

730 a-S 



1 otherwise statiKi. frtd "NuEjs ani Their Ustj aa Food" by M. E. Jaffa, Professor of 
Nutrition. University of Cilif omia. U. . S. Dent. Aijr. FiLnncrs B^J^St. 1 N*--33W S?_??K^ 

1 UnlcEra 1 

tiio column mnrted refOEt" it should bt rjoismborctl tliat mnny of the null art based on poor, 
wild produce of the present mnrttta. rathar thnn sclectctl itraine or improved auatm wUcli can 
he crown, 
'For further ac'fim corapiirisoiii, set paae" t5' and 114, 103 

f Information from Frederick V, CovlUe 

' L|l.,.-V, 

» Caibooydratea nlus-flbtr. 

Department of Ajpfeullure. 



Food Products 

Yield per A era 






per Acre 





Aare of 


Corn *,,,.., 

Irish Potatoes*. . , , 
Wheat 1 



{live lbs.) 








in eggs 




I,0O0 5 

1,000 4 

1 ,594 






3,^75 T 
3,105 T 

3.345 7 
3,30O J 
1,265 T 






32. ~ 













1. 00 

Dairy Products 
Milk 1 

r -75 



Cheese * 


Beef * 

Fsullry Crop* 
Meat and Eggs. . . . 

Nut Crops 
Chestnuts (fresh),, , 
Persian Walnuts. . . 

Hickory Nuts, 


66 lbs, 


1. 71 

In comparing these nut crops- with corn it should be remembered that the 
fiEiii-eB For the nut crops are supposed to be annual averages, whereas corn, 
even on the best of land, t& almost always put in rotation; and therefore there 
U rarely less than one crop in three yearg, often one crop in four or five year?. 
Page 282 shows that many of these tree crops might have side crops also. 

I Eased on California traduction (onee 173). Edible portiM lee cage J!C4. 

* 9 lla 5 tlt - 5 ' |J estimated yield. Calorie! ate fcr edible [.orliomp, 304), Awsume jj per ami. 
edible. i« igifl reoort Northern Nut Growers' Aseociatlon far teats n{ ^ciehLF." a'so joar 
report iif same. Sunu; yield more ttan 35 oer cent, kernel 

> Vidd estimated by Dr, W. C. DembiK for full eund grafted trew. Calories for edible 
porusu, Assume jo per cent, edible. Sec 1010 repurt Noitheni Nut Oroweri 1 Aesaclatinn 
where many nuts were rtiorc than 50 per cent, edible, 

' Ouantily. Cenraiu Experiment Staiion Estimate. Calories for edible puttinn, Edible uortion 
ertjtnste jo per cent. Some yield more than so per cent, kernel. 

■ Quantity, anther's estimate-. See chanters on the oak. It is probable that the fiaure for 
yield la loojow. Edible iwMas taken from p. 304, 

■ From. U. S. DeparLmenl of Auricultuns, Farmers' Bulletin No. S77: Eu.nwn Peeifrem ax 
Afrt iff Rlatlt Farm. PrarftifM, bj Morton 0, Cooper and W. J. SfjUlman, In™ whom the 
idea came. 

1 Aualysia on page 304, 

* Counted as calories and considered hs *tocl food it ouuatikj corn. Se« Chapter V, 



Grafting trees is an old art. It is known that the Romans did it in 
at least nineteen different ways, and Cyrus, king of Persia, weary of 
the cares of empire, abdicated and had some years of peaceful 
pleasure, grafting trees in his garden. 

Grafting takes advantage of the fact that the common fruit and 
nut trees do all of their growing in the cambium layer. Cambium is 
the slippery gelatinous substance that we find under the inner bark 
of a rapidly growing tree in the season when it is putting forth 
shoots. In this thin layer the tree grows all of its wood and all of its 

Grafting merely puts a piece of one tree (the cion) into another 
(the stock) so that the cambium of the cion can connect with the 
cambium of the stock, grow fast to it, be fed by it, and grow from it. 
The cion, thus fed by the cambium of the stock, grows, but keeps its 
own character. Thus we can make a million trees like the one fine 
tree that furnishes the original cion wood. 

Grafting nut trees is fun. It appeals to the creative instinct, as 
well as the instinct for beauty and for profit. 

Grafting nut trees in the United States is a new art. For a long 
time people tried to do it as they do apple trees and they failed. 

The following pages attempt to illustrate and explain for beginners 
some of the most thoroughly proved methods of grafting nut trees 
that have been used in the United States north of the Cotton Belt. 





a— j* 

•Etc. A 

1. Have cion b same size, or about same size, as the stock a. 

2. Cut them as shown — one plane flat surface on each. 

3. Fit these two, the cion and stock, together, so that all their flat 
surfaces touch each other and their inner barks meet. Wrap them 
tightly with moist raffia as far as the cut surfaces extend. Tuck the 
end of the raffia in. Do not tie any knots. 

4. String will do if you are sure to cut it off before it cuts the 
growing tree. 

5. Now cover all of the raffia or string and all of the cut part of the 
stock and all of the cion — every bit of it — with grafting wax. This 
prevents death by drying and seems to be one of the big secrets of 

This method makes the most perfect of all unions; in a year or 
two you may forget that the tree was grafted if you are not careful 
to mark it. 






This method can be used when the stock and cion are the same 
size or when diameter of stock is two or even three times that of the 

1. A diagonal downward cut d is made in the stock a. The cut 
must be straight, and this is hard to do. It requires a very sharp 
knife, and it can not be made by a straight down push of the knife. 
You start with the point of the blade and slide the knife forward 
slowly, finishing with the heel of the blade. In doing this, some 
people put one hand on the back of the knife blade. 

The beveled blade (see III, 2) is more effective for this than the 
ordinary blade. 

2. The straight cut b on one side of cion is a little longer than on 
the other side c. 

3. The cion is pushed in with the long cut edge next to the stock 
and the short cut edge next to the flap. See that the cion fits the cut 
as to length and that the cambiums meet on one side of the cion or 
both sides of cion. 

4. Wrap with raffia or string from e to / 

5. Wax all cuts and all of the cion. 

6. Tying of new shoots is required when they grow long, to pre- 
vent blowing out. Wind is a great enemy. 

7. Most of the top of the stock above the place of grafting should 
be cut off before grafting time. Seven or eight days in advance seems 
best in Pennsylvania. 




This method is explained at length by Dr. Robert T. Morris in his 
book, Nut Growing. It is for stocks that are considerably larger than 
the cion, say three-quarters of an inch in diameter and larger. 

1. The cion k is trimmed with a straight, clean cut. All the cutting 
is on one side except that a little tip of the bark is cut off at d. 

2. Be careful that the knife-cut h is straight, as shown in the fig- 
ure. This is important in all cion trimming. To make this straight cut 
you must cut away from yourself. Make the whole cut at one stroke. 
This can be done much — very much — more easily if the knife / is 
held at an oblique angle to the length of the cion e as shown in Fig. 
A. The arrow g shows the direction of the cut. This gives a kind of 
saw effect which makes cutting much easier. The cut is a sharp, 
quick motion from the elbow. Do it quickly enough to make the 
shavings fly. The wise grafter will practice this for an hour or so a 
few days before he is ready to graft. Do not waste good cions learn- 
ing this. Some experts think that the straight cut can be done much 
more easily if the knife is ground on one side so that it is beveled 
like a chisel. For cross section of beveled knife blade see g in Fig. A. 
The beveled edge touches the shaving, and the flat edge touches the 
cion. You cannot buy knives with beveled edges. In any case the 
grafting knife must be sharp, very sharp, and kept so. It is a great 




waste to try to graft with a dull knife, a waste of time, of cions, and 
of your chances of success. 

3. With the knife-point make two cuts p and q in the bark of the 
stock. Let the distance between the cuts at the top be the same as 
the width of the graft or cion when its cut surface is held against the 
stock. Let the cuts approach each other slightly as they go down. 
See this in the tongue of bark below p and q. 

4. Let these cuts be the same length as the cut part of the cion. 
The tongue of bark b between these two cuts can now be loosened at 
the upper end. 

5. Stick the cion into the slot behind the tongue of bark, with flat 
surface of cion against the wood of the stock. Push it down until the 
cut surface of the cion is concealed and the cion fits snugly in place 
with the tip sticking down in the cambium. 

6. Cut off the tongue of bark outside of the cion. Cut in at m about 
a quarter of an inch above its lower end. 

7. Wrap cion and stock tightly with raffia or string. Raffia is pref- 

8. Cover cion and raffia completely with wax and also cover every 
cut surface of stock with wax. 

9. It is well to put in two cions opposite each other if stock is over 
three-quarters of an inch, and if very large put in three to aid the 
growth of bark over the cut end of stock. 

In the drawing, the slot without cion and the one with cion are 
shown near each other merely for convenience in exposition. Grafts 
should not be put so close together as these two slots in the drawing. 

10. It is not commonly desirable to saw off for grafting a tree or 
limb more than two inches in diameter, although some grafters have 
a three-inch limit. 

1 1 . The bark slot graft grows rapidly because the stock is big and 
it is apt to blow out unless carefully tied in and watched after it 
makes a good growth. 

12. This is probably the easiest kind of grafting to do, and begin- 
ners are strongly urged to begin with it. 

In all of the three kinds of grafting mentioned above it is well to 
leave a small limb near the graft. It seems to encourage growth of 





This is the method used in nurseries where grafts are set by the 
thousand. It should not be tried by beginners the first year of their 
grafting experience. 

1. Owing to the pith d in the center of most of the cion wood of 
the nut trees, it is better to trim the cion b on one side clear through 
the pith so that the point e ends in solid wood. 

2. This cion with the large cut on one side and the small cut on 
the other fits the stock a much better if the stock is cut at c, one side 
of the center. 

Most experts think they get better success if the cut in the stock 
is made at a slant as in a. This is hard to do. The knife must be bev- 
eled. It must be pushed across and down like a saw, with the beveled 
edge toward the narrow wood. The knife must not be pushed straight 
down and the whole cut should be made at one stroke. Some one has 
said that you are not a grafter until you have cut yourself a few 
times. Here is one of the places you may do it. 

Start this cut with a very little bit of solid wood on one side of the 

3. Always keep both hands above the knife edge in cutting stocks 
as well as in trimming cions. 

4. The trimmed part of the cion and the split part of the stock 
should be of the same length. 

5. Push the cion into the split or cleft until the cleft is full. 





6. In this form of graft the cambium layers of cion and stock meet 
each other unusually well. 

7. Wrap with raffia from g to ft. 

8. Here is one refinement of technique that is used by some, but 
it is not necessary. It is used when the cion is smaller than the stock. 
The top view of the stock after cion i is set and cut off level with top 
of stock (merely to enable one to see) shows the open part of cleft k. 
Fasten a small piece of paper to the stock with the raffia used in 
wrapping the graft. Do it in such a way that the paper will keep wax 
out of the side and top of the cleft beside the graft. If you succeed 
with this the growing graft will fill up the cleft with wood much 
sooner than if it is filled with wax. Then there will be less danger 
from blowing out. 

By using this method the nurserymen can get black walnut grafts 
to grow from two to six feet the year that they are grafted and to 
heal over so completely that they can be sold at the end of the year 
in which they are grafted. 

9. Cover with wax every bit of cut surface of the stock, all of the 
paper, and every bit of the cion. 

10. Nursery trees the size of your finger or thumb are usually cut 
off for grafting a few inches above the ground. On such short, firm 
stocks it is easier to make the diagonal cut in the stock. 

Care After Grafting 

All shoots but one should be rubbed off of the stock every three 
days after grafting for at least five times. The one that is left should 
have the end pinched off to keep it from taking too much strength 
away from the cion. The tree prefers its own buds. If the graft 
starts to grow, all shoots on the stock should be rubbed off and kept 
off. Strings should be removed at the end of three weeks. 

Some experts put a paper bag over the graft to shade it and cut a 
hole on north side to keep it from getting too hot inside the bag. 
Others do not think this necessary. It depends somewhat upon the 
heat and the natural shade. The beginner should try some with and 
without the paper bags. The bag can be removed as soon as it is in 
the way of the growing graft. 


1. Cions should be cut in cool weather when the temperature is 
above freezing, before any start of growth whatever has been made 



and before the sap has begun to flow. They must be kept dormant 
until grafting time. 

2. Cions keep well on a cool, damp earthen floor of an unheated 
cellar, in frosty climates, if covered with two or three layers of bur- 
lap. Don't try it on cement. Cement is dry. Earth is damp. Some ex- 
perimenters now say that they keep better if entirely coated with 
melted paraffine wax. I have not tried this yet, but expect to do so. 

3. Cions from a rapidly growing tree are better, much better, very 
much better, than from a slow-growing tree. The end twigs of an old 
bearing tree are therefore not as good as the shoots that grow out 
where a limb is cut off or when the tree is heavily fertilized. 

4. The thin pithy outer end of a twig is poorer than the butt end. 


Thrifty, fast-growing stocks are better than slow-growing stocks. 
It is a waste of time to graft the little runty trees in a row of seed- 
lings. The time to graft is just as trees are shooting buds and the 
cambium can be scraped up like jelly on your thumb nail. In the first 
three methods above mentioned, the stock can be cut off when 
grafted. If there are open places within the graft, as k in Fig. D, they 
may fill with sap and ferment and the cion may die. To avoid this, 
stocks that are to be grafted by the method shown in Fig. D should 
have stocks sawed off about a week in advance of grafting. It is no 
use to graft them while the sap is running out of them. It is time to 
graft as soon as the sap stops running after the sawing off. Sawing 
off tops before grafting causes less waste of the tree's energy. There- 
fore it seems to be a good thing to do when grafting by methods 
shown in Figs. B, C, and D. 


If you are only going to set a dozen or two of grafts, you can use 
old-fashioned grafting wax. It is the simplest. 

1 part tallow 

2 parts beeswax 
4 parts rosin 

Melt them all together. Pour into a tub of water. Before it is hard, 
work it like dough in greasy hands. Wrap in oiled paper. It will keep 
for years. It may need a little warming in sun or warm room before 
using. It works like putty. When using it carry along a piece of fat 
meat to grease your hands, to keep wax from sticking. Since greasy 



hands may grease the dons you are trimming and kill them, you 
should have an assistant do the waxing. 

Dr. Robert Morris uses pure melted paraffine put on with a ten- 
cent paint brush. The paraffine is kept hot in a special alcohol lan- 
tern, very convenient to use, sold by E. C. Tyson, Flora Dale, Pa. 

One nurseryman adds a small amount, two or three ounces each, 
of beeswax and rosin to each pound of paraffine to make it less brit- 
tle. Others mix in one-fifth of crude pine sap secured from Glen Saint 
Mary Nursery, Glen Saint Mary, Florida. 

Two very successful nurserymen use a black wax, as follows: 

8 lb. rosin 

3 lb. beeswax 

Vi pint linseed oil boiled 

l A lb. lampblack 

This is all melted up, stirred, and put into small vessels ready to 
melt and put into the grafter's melter. This melter is sold by J. F. 
Jones Nursery, Lancaster, Pa. It burns charcoal. The chief advantage 
of the black is that you can see so much better what you are doing. 


Maher and Grosh, Toledo, Ohio, a mail-order house, have a good 
assortment of grafting-knives, but be sure to test every knife well 
before using it. Many knives will not hold the necessary sharp edge. 
A dull grafting knife is a crime. 


Nut grafting is not certain. There are some things we do not know 
about it yet. The beginner who gets five per cent, should not be dis- 
couraged, and he who gets forty per cent, should think it great luck, 
but there are some who have much better success than that. 

The grafter will do well to keep record of date, weather, and con- 
dition of stocks each time he grafts. He may learn something. 

Painted wooden labels with copper wire will keep a pencil record 
two seasons. They are sold by Benjamin Chase, Derry Village, N. H. 
Copper labels with scratched writing last for many years. These are 
sold by Ball and Socket Manufacturing Co., West Cheshire, Conn. 

One of the first things the hickory grafter should do is to learn the 
different species. Some will not grow on others, but shagbark will 
grow on shagbark, and most of the others also will grow on shagbark, 
and all grow on the pecan. 



It is well in our present state of knowledge to try a little early 
grafting and a little late grafting. Any one expecting to do any- 
thing with nuts north of the Cotton Belt should join the Northern 
Nut Growers' Association, H. D. Spencer, Secretary, Decatur, 111. 
This organization is the clearing house for information which is 
being rapidly collected. The beginner should also see sample copies 
of the Nut Journal, Rochester, N. Y., and The Nut Grower, Down- 
ingtown, Pa. 

In preparing this description of technique and practice I have 
drawn upon my friends, Dr. Robert T. Morris, Dr. William C. 
Deming, Mr. John W. Hershey, Mr. Willard Bixby, and the late J. 
F. Jones, from whom I have learned nearly all I know about nut 


Aaronson, Aaron: carob in Pales- 
tine, 54-5 

Acorns: in primitive agriculture, 
II; production, 12; as forage 
crop, 18, 143-6, 257; possibility as 
human food, 17, 53, 150-5; as 
dairy food, 149; yield, 130-1; 
Portuguese method of securing 
large crop, 267; as a commercial 
crop, 134; Portuguese pork 
crop, 136-7; American frontier 
farmer's dependence on, 140; 
analyses, 144, 304; analysis of 
California acorn and rival food, 
151; calories in acorns vs. milk, 
162; solid meat, 225; time of 
ripening, 258. See Figs. 67, 68, 
69, 70 

Adamson, C. R., 146 

Afghanistan: drought regions in, 
34; tree-crop resources of val- 
leys in, 176; pistache, 229 

Africa: palm oil, 247; water-pits 
invented in, 263; droughts in, 285. 

See South Africa 

Agriculture: soil-saving type, 8; 
long agricultural occupation, 9; 
flat land agriculture in hills, 10; 
origin of, 11; need of science, 12; 
tree agriculture for hills and 
rocky land, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26; 
two- story agriculture, 16, 17, 5°, 
51, 65, 138, 169, 172, 275, 282, 
295; institute of mountain agri- 
culture, 25; conservatism in, 26; 
place of bran trees in, 35; chest- 
nut farming in Corsica, 108; in 
European mountains vs. Appala- 
chian, in, 112; development of 
Persian walnut, 164-5; hickory 
promising, 218; rubber orchards 
with leguminous cover crop, 244; 
need in tropics, 250; new tech- 
nique, 260-1; cultivation by ni- 
trate, 261-2; fertilizing with leg- 
umes, 262; irrigation Dy rain-fed 
water pockets, 263-5 :> terraced 
field, 265-6; hogging down crops, 

266-7; oasis agriculture, 273; 
starting the tree-crop farm, 275; 
dry farming, 278-280, 295; world- 
wide application of tree-crop ag- 
riculture, 286-7; tree-crop agri- 
culture in arid lands, 288-9 

Alabama: hilly land with good cli- 
mate in, 17; pecan, 197 

Alberta, 253 

Alfalfa: meat production per acre 
from, 43; on ideal hill farm, 
260; analysis of alfalfa and al- 
falfa hay, 302 

Algaroba (Hawaiian) : value and 
natural habitat, 36-7, 62; uses and 
yield, 37-9; value, 40; meal 
(ground beans), 41; on ranch on 
Island of Maui, 42; limits, 44; 
hybridizing with carob, 6 1 ; eaten 
by farm animals, 63, 252; analy- 
sis of, 302. See Keawe. 

Algeria: carobs in, 45, 47; two- 
story agriculture, 50; treatment 
of carob in, 52; acorns, 155; ilex 
oak, 158; pistache, 229; Reser- 
voirs in, 290. See Figs. 12, 131 

Allenby, 45 

Alligator pears: grow in tropical 
forests, 243; description, habitat, 
use, 249 

Almonds: in Majorca, 16; in two- 
story agriculture, 17; under test 
by private experimenters, 29; cal- 
ories in, 162; appearance, value, 
home of, 232-3; similarity to ap- 
ricot nut, 234; in our Southwest, 
281; analysis of almond and 
almond butter, 304; food value 
per acre, 305. See Fig. 105 

Alps: chestnuts, 111 

American Nut Journal, 182, 197, 
200, 206, 216, 229 

Anderson, F. T., 93 

Antioch: erosion near, 9 

Apennines: chestnuts, ill 

Apiaries, 38 

Appalachia: mountain farming, 111; 
possibilities for prosperity, 149' 






black walnut area, 188; chestnut 
on upland of, 227; lime stone 
fields in, 271; conditions of, 285; 
reference to article on farming 
in, 295 

Apple: permanence of crop, 16; 
origin of Baldwin, 23; varieties 
of one species, 25; boom in Pa- 
cific Northwest, 212; analysis of, 
303, 304 

Apricot: in eastern North America, 
170; apricot nut, 234; in our 
Southwest, 281 

Arabia: windbreak, 273 

Argentina: bean tree climate in, 34; 
mesquite, 73, 75 

Arid land: almond in, 233; need of 
gully-shower irrigation, 278; pos- 
sibilities for, 280-1; use of tree 
crops in, 288-9 

Arizona: typical arid land, 34; mes- 
quite in, 70, 77-9; algaroba pos- 
sibility in, 74; oak in, 146; yield 
of acorns, 131 

Arkansas: part of region with hilly 
land and good climate, 17; per- 
simmon in, 99; Persian walnut, 

Ash, Thomas: Carolina, or a De- 
scription of the Present State of 
that Country, 225 

Asia: persimmons of East Asia, 
95; development of Persian wal- 
nut, 164-5; walnut of western 
Asia, 166; walnut, 176; droughts 
and famines in, 285 

Asia Minor: Persian walnut, 165, 

Assam: kukui, 246 

Atlantic Coast Plain: hickory, 220 

Australia: natural honey locust cli- 
mate in, 34; natural mesquite cli- 
mate in, 35; almond in South, 
233; Queensland nut, 241; wat- 
tle, 242; kukui, 246; droughts in, 

Averett, Murray: yield of emory 
oak in Arizona, 131 

Avocado (alligator pear) : descrip- 
tion, habitat, use, 249 

Babassu: in Brazil, 248 

Babul trees: forage value in India, 

Bailey: Encyclopaedia of Horticul- 
ture, 36 

Bailey, Liberty H., 200 

Balkans: chestnuts, III; Persian 

walnuts, 165 
Ballard, W. R.: Osage orange, 240 
Baltic: beech trees on shores of, 

Bamboo. See Fig. 17 
Bananas: in tropics, 243 
Barnes, Will C.: hogs and oaks, 


Barley, 4, 11, 42; price and value 
as compared with algaroba 
(keawe), 40; planted with carob 
in two-story agriculture, 51; 
tested with carob, 55; analyses, 
238, 302 

Bartram, William (Travels in 
North America) : hickory, 225 

Bates, Carlos G., 274 

Beans (from bean trees) : n ; food 
for cattle, 12; keawe, 12; for 
bran substitute, 18; analysis of 
dried beans, 304 

Beaver hickory. See Figs. 63, 100 

Bechtel, Theodore: pecan, 212 

Beechnut: calories in, 162; habitat, 
use, and future of, 227-8; analysis 
of, 304 

Beef, 43; pounds per acre, 268; 
food value per acre, 305 

Beers, C. W., 55 

Bengal: kukui, 246 

Bennett, H. H.: on erosion, 10; 270 

Bentley, H. L., 79 

Berckman, P. J., 257 

Besley, F. W., 143 

Bethune, B. T.: pecan, 202 

Betts, H. S.: on honey locust, 65 

Bigelow, W. D., 104 

Bissett, Peter, 93 

Bitternut: under test by private ex- 
perimenters, 29; range, 220; 
growth, 219; natural range, 221; 
bearing, 223-4. See Figs. 63, 85, 

Bixby, Willard: private experi- 
menter, 29-30; chestnut experi- 
ment, 122; 184-5; hickories, 218, 
219, 223; beechnut, 228 

Blackberry: time of ripening, 258; 
analysis of, 303 

Black gum berries: time of ripen- 
ing, 258 

Black walnut (Juglans nigra) : need 
of finding parent tree, 23; need 
of better varieties, 188; under 
test by private experimenters, 29; 
natural range of (map), 64; area 



in U. S., 188; in overflow lands, 
275; as a commercial industry, 
183; neglect of, 181; grafting and 
budding, 184; varieties and their 
worth, 185-7; flavor, demand for 
cooking, 187; influence of food 
factories, 182; possible future, 
226; on ideal hill farm, 260; cal- 
ories in, 162; use as food, 181; a 
food producer, 189; analysis, 304; 
food value per acre, 305. See 
Figs. 75, 77, 80, 81, 82 

Blue Ridge Mountains: oak, 158; 
pecan, 202, 215, 216; hickory, 224 

Bolivia: mesquites in, 75 

Bonham, Llewellyn: honey locust, 

Bran: beans as substitute, 18, 35, 
40; producers of bran substitutes, 
33; analysis of wheat bran, 302 

Brazil: honey locust climate, 34; 
kukui, 246; palm oil tree, 248; 
Babassu, 248 

Brazil nuts: waste of in Amazon 
forest, 249; analysis of, 304 

Bread: analysis of, white, 304 

Bread-fruit: food for man in trop- 
ics, 243 

Briggs, L. J., 282 

Brison, F. R.: pecan, 206 

Britain: oak in, 158; Persian wal- 
nut, 165 

British Columbia: filbert, 237 

Britton: North American Trees, 

Brown, W. R, 78 

Buckman, Benjamin, 28; persim- 
mon, 100-1 

Burbank, 13, 180 

Burns, John C: mesquite, 71, 80 

Burr, Leslie, 40 

Bushong, P. W., 181 

Butternut: need of parent tree, 24; 
under test by private experiment- 
ers, 29; home and possibilities of, 
191-2; calories in, 162; analysis 
of, 304. See Fig. 77 

Cacao: standard tropic export, 249 
Calhoun, J. C: mulberry, 87 
California: climate, 34; climate and 
flora, 172; carob in, 33, 52, 54-9; 
manufactured carob food, 53; in- 
vention of splint system for plant- 
ing carobs, 60; outline for carob- 
improvement, 6 1 ; honey locust in, 
62; persimmon in, 98; oak, 131, 

147; cork trees, 138; acorns eaten 
by Indians in, 151; Persian wal- 
nut industry in, 165, 173; irrigated 
walnut orchards, 169; almond in, 
232; apricot nut in, 234; avocado 
in, 249; Queensland nut in south- 
ern, 241; acreage in crop and pas- 
ture lands, 287 

Canada: pecan, 200; beech in south- 
ern, 227; sugar maple in south- 
eastern, 241 

Candle nut: analysis of, 304; 
growth, range, use, 246 

Candy: carob, 45, 53; hickory nuts 
in, 226 

Cannaday, John E.: persimmon in 
West Virginia, 100 

Carlin, Mrs. J. W.: on honey lo- 
cust, 63 

Carob: as animal and human food, 
33, 61; bread, 53; syrup, 53; 
analysis of, 302; climate and nat- 
ural habitat, 34, 45, 47, 62, 63; 
photo reference, 36; uses, 45, 46, 
47; description, 46; place in Medi- 
terranean agriculture, 46; ability 
to stand abuse, 52; in California, 
52, 54-9; in two-story agricul- 
ture, 50-1; new method of plant- 
ing, 59-6o; suggestions for carob 
improvement, 61; in Africa, 252-3. 
See Figs. 10, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 
32, 33 

Carver, G. W.: mulberry, 88, 89 

Cattle: food for, 12; carob in calf- 
foods, 33; feed, 39; eat ground 
algaroba bean, 41; 42, 44; fattened 
on crushed carob pods, 46; eat 
mesquite beans, 70 

Cavanaugh, George W, 238 

Central America: soil destruction 
in, 250; water pockets, 264 

Cereals, 11; dependence on rain, 16; 
carob, as substitute for, 53; an- 
alyses as compared to holly, 238 

Ceylon: kukui, 246; silt pits, 264 

Charcoal: from algaroba, 37; from 
oak, 135 

Cheese: analysis (Cheddar), 304; 
food value per acre, 305 

Cherry: analysis of fruit, 303 

Cherry tree nut: use and waste of, 
home of, 235 

Chestnut: as forage crop, 18; need 
of parent tree, 23 ; need of experi- 
mentation, 24; private experimen- 
tation, 29; promising crop, 83; 




reference to article on propagat- 
ing, 295; breeding varieties, 120, 
122; time of ripening, 258; system 
on European mounts in farms, 107; 
in Corsica, 8, 107-13; amount and 
value of crops, 109; Corsican 
chestnuts as compared with 
United States corn, 109; in 
French farming, 114; in Japan 
and China, 115; use and value of 
American chestnut, 116-9; blight, 
118-9; calories in, 162; analyses 
of fresh, dry, horn, and water 
chestnuts and of chestnut flour, 
304; food value per acre of 
fresh, 305. See Figs. 9, 47, 
48, 49, So, Si, 52, 54, 78, 93, 96, 
129. See also Horse chestnut 

Chickens, 18, 38, 150, 181 

Chick-peas: in two-story agricul- 
ture in Majorca, 16 

Chile: bean-tree climate, 34; sug- 
gested origin of algaroba, 36; 
mesquite in, 75; almond, 233 

China: erosion in, 3, 4, 8, 9, 26; ir- 
rigation in, 280; wonderland of 
trees in southwestern, 24; honey 
locust climate in southern, 34; 
persimmon in, 9S-7; chestnut in, 
115; oak in, 150; walnut, 170, 194; 
Persian walnut, 176-7; Chinese 
babies fed walnut milk, 161-2; 
pistache in, 229; tung oil tree, 
242; kukui, 246. See Fig. 17 

Chinese pistache: under test by pri- 
vate experimenters, 29 

Chinese walnut, 23; need of experi- 
menting, 191; variety of Persian, 
192; thriving in Minnesota, 194 

Chinquapin: under test by private 
experimenters, 29; calories in, 
162; time of ripening, 258. See 
Fig. S3 

Chokeberries: habitat and use, 242 

Chouillou, M.: carob orchard 
owner, northern coast of Algeria, 

Chubbuck, Levi: mesquites, 69 

Cinchona: standard tropic export, 

Clothier, R. W.: on mesquite, 70 

Clover: in two-story agriculture in 
Majorca, 16; on ideal hill farm, 

Cochran, F. A.: mulberry, 86 

Coconut: place as human food, 231; 
coconut palm, 243; use of oil, 

248; analysis of coconut and 
coconut flour, 304 

Coffee: standard tropic export, 249 

Coit, J. Eliot, 58 

Colby, C. G, 23 

Colombia: mesquite in, 75; acorn 
(size and yield), 131; pejibaye, 
246 " " 

Colorado: honey locust in, 62; mes- 
quite in, 70; oak in, 145; pistache, 

Condit, I. J., 56 

Condra, G. E., 188 

Congress, U. S., 21 

Connecticut: private experimental 
grounds, 29; pecan, 213; almond, 

Cook, O. F., 250 

Cooper, Morton O., 305 

Cork: industry, value, 135; Por- 
tuguese cork yield, 136 

Corn: erosion in hilly corn field, 4, 
112; dependence on rain, 16; pro- 
duction as compared to carob, 50; 
in Appalachia, n 1; suggested 
partial replacement by tree crops, 
32; analyses, 238, 302; meat pro- 
duction per acre from, 43; food 
values per acre, 305; on ideal 
hill farm, 260; French chestnut 
crop compared with U. S. corn 
crop, 114 

Corn Belt: mulberry, 83; black 
walnut area, 188; pecan, 216; 
two-story agriculture, 283 

Corsan, G. H., 193, 233 

Corsica: tree-crop agriculture in, 
8; chestnuts, 107 

Corylus: under test by private ex- 
perimenters, 29 

Costa Rica: pejibaye, 246 

Cotton: tilled crop destructive to 
hills, 4; cotton breeding, 15; on 
water-holding terraces, 26s 

Cotton Belt: ruined land in hilly 
section, 6; honey locust climate 
in, 34; natural habitat of mul- 
berry, 83, 86; cork trees in, 140; 
black walnut area, 188; pecan, 
213, 215; two-story agriculture, 
283; scarcity of gardens, food 
crops, and animals on cotton 
farms, 89 
Cottonseed meal: analysis of, 

Coville, Frederick V.: mesquite, 76; 
nut analyses, 304 




Cows, 8, 150, 239; eat honey locust, 

Craig, John: Northern Nut Grow- 
ers' Association, 213 
Crops: tilled, 4; tree crops, 12; 

soil-saving, 32; cover crop, 244. 

See Forage crops 
Cuba: algaroba in, 44; guasima, 

Currant: analysis of, 303 
Curwen, George F.: hickories, 219 
Cyprus: carob in, 45-6; carob 

chief export of, 47; locust tree 

in, 50 

Dairy cows, 42 

Date: habitat and value, 245; analy- 
sis of, 303 

Davis, A. B., 200 

Dawson, Consul C. I.: on carob in 
Spain, 47, 48, 49, 51 

De Courset, 199 

Delaware: chestnut, 117 

Deming, W. C: pecan, 199; North- 
ern Nut Growers' Association, 
213; hickory, 224; ideal hill farm, 
259; nut yields, 305 

Denatured alcohol: sugar from 
algaroba pods, 37 

Denmark: manufacturing of prod- 
ucts from apricot nut, 234 

Desert, 3, 4; after man the desert, 
6; of Nevada, 233; windbreaks, 

De Soto, Hernando, 229, 230 

Dickens, Albert C, 90, 281; persim- 
mon in Kansas, 101, 105; wind- 
break, 274 

Dixon, James, 189 

Dogwood berries: time of ripening, 

Drake, N. F.: Persian walnut in 
Arkansas, 174 

Dransfield, Jacob: pecan, 204 

Du Pont de Nemours, Irenee: ex- 
tensive introduction of chestnut, 

Ecuador: mesquites in, 75; pejibaye, 

Edison, 22 
Eggs: analysis of (boiled), 304; 

food value per acre, 303 
Elliotte, John B . : pecan in Indiana, 

Ellis, Zenas: pecan experimenter, 

200, 217; almond, 233 

Elwood, C. F.: acorns and hogs, 

England: wheat test plats at Roth- 
amstead Experiment Station, 52; 
oak, 155; pasture, 268 

English walnut: improvement of, 
13, 14; calories in, 162. See Fig. 
74. See also Persian walnut 

Erickson, Neil: acorn yield, 131 

Erosion: some causes, 4; in Illinois, 
5; greatest resource waste in 
America, 6-7; in Mississippi, 7; 
effects in Old World, 9; in Greece, 
10; in our South, 10; on Mediter- 
ranean carob plantations, 52; in 
tropics, 250; survey and study 
needed, 23, 26; checks, 59; ref- 
erence to article, "Tree Crops as 
a Control of Erosion," 295; bib- 
liography on, 296-300. See Figs. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 93, 94, " 3 , 122 

Europe: less erosion than in Amer- 
ica, 4; walnut, 166; climate, 170; 
great region for Persian walnut, 
176; chestnut, 227; beech, 227; 
horse chestnut, 240; import of 
kernels from African oil palm, 

Evans, J. A., 89 

Evans, R. J., 145 

Experimentation: testing grounds, 
22; experimental farms, 23-5; va- 
rieties of trees under test by pri- 
vate experimenters, 29; carob in 
two-story agriculture in Algeria, 
50-1; wheat test plats at Roth- 
amstead Experiment Station, 
England, 52; need for, in honey 
locust, 68; need for, in mulberries, 
89; in chestnuts, 120, 121, 124; 
with Persian walnut in Virginia, 
171; general need, 227; hazel and 
filbert, 237; starting a tree crop 
farm, 275 

Fagan, F. N., 174 

Fairchild, David, 132 

Farmer: needs aid of experimental 
farms, 25; can depend on stock- 
food crops, 32; southern farmer 
slave to cotton, 89; in Corsica, 
107-8; on hill farms, 260; start- 
ing a tree crop farm, 275-6; tree 
crops for the dry farmer, 278 

Fernandes, Estevao Oliveira: cork 
vs. ilex in pork production, 





Ferrin, E. F.: pasture yields, 268-9 

Figs: in Majorca, 16, 17; analysis 
of, 303. See Fig. 12 

Filbert: growing habits, 236; hy- 
bridization, 237; many varieties 
available, 277; under test by pri- 
vate experimenters, 29; calories 
in, 162; analysis of, 304. See 
Figs. 20, 106 

Fletcher, W. F.: persimmon, 95 

Flood control, 291 

Florida: cork trees in, 140; kukui, 
246; avocado, 249; mock oranges 
in, 257 

Food: chestnut, 8; for cattle, bean 
trees as compared with meat or 
milk, 12; food for animals, chief 
objective of book, 17-8, 32, 36; 
carob, 33, 51; test of carob as 
compared with barley, 55; value 
of carob, 61; honey locust, 62-3; 
stock-food trees, the mesquites, 
69-80; mulberry for pigs, 86; per- 
simmon, 101-2; acorn as human 
food and as forage, 150-8; fac- 
tories, 153 ; Persian walnut widely 
used in America, 164, 181; pecan, 
197; hickory, 224-6; beechnuts for 
hogs, 228; pine nuts, 231; cherry 
tree nut for pigs, 235; holly leaf, 
238; soap nut oil, 238; Gingko 
nuts, 239; horse chestnut, 240; 
wild plums, chokeberries, sand- 
cherries as human food or hog 
food, 242; date, 245; list of trees 
for human food, 276-7; food-pro- 
ducing trees, Appendix A, 295; 
analysis of feeds for farm ani- 
mals, 302. See also Forage 

Forage crops: through tree agricul- 
ture, 18; algaroba, 38-9; honey 
locust, 63-5; mesquite, 70; per- 
simmon, 99, 101-3; oak, 141-9; 
beechnuts, 228; cherry nut tree, 
234; papaw, 239; beans, 251; 150, 
277. See Food 

Forbes, Robert H., 72, 77, 79-80, 
273, 302 

Forest: chestnut in Corsica, 8; 
taxation, 22; forest experiment 
stations (map), 27 

Foster, L., 78 

France: chestnuts in central, 111; 
chestnut field in systematic 
French farm, 114; Persian wal- 
nut, 165-7, 170. 171, 174; pistache, 

229; roadside trees, 272; walnut, 

Frost, Wesley, 108, 115 
Fuel: algaroba, 37, 39; mesquite, 73 

Garrett, J. B.: pecan in Louisiana, 

Geikie, 9 

Gellatly, J. V., 200 

Germany: manufacture of apricot 
nut products, 234; roadside trees, 

Georgia: corn production, 5 1 ; honey 
locust, 63-6; mulberry, 85, oak 
more productive of hog meat than 
corn on Georgia coast plain, 
129; cork trees, 138; oak, 157; 
Persian walnut, 174; black wal- 
nut, 188; pecan, 200, 202, 203, 
207, 209, 211; a tree crop farm 
in, 257 

Gibraltar, 34 

Gingko: origin, habitat, and sug- 
gested use, 238-9; analysis of nut 
seeds, 304 

Girdling trees: to stimulate yield, 12 

Gleanings hi Bee Culture, 40 

Goats, 8; eat mesquite beans, 70; in 
Corsica, 108; in Portugal, 137; 
150; 239; fed on beans of babul 
tree, 251 

Goldsborough, Alfred (A History 
of Fiji), 243 

Good, E. S., 143 

Gooseberry: time of ripening, 258 

Gore, H. C, 104 

Gould, H. P., 102, 239 

Grafting nut trees: technique de- 
scribed and illustrated, 306-14 

Grains: development of, 11; annual 
plants, 15; use of windbreaks, 

Grand, Professor (Grenoble) : 
chestnut, 113; Persian walnut in 
France, 166 

Grapes: girdling custom in Greece, 
12; interplanted with carob, 50, 
51; in walnut orchard, 172; 
analysis of, 303 

Grasses, 4, 11, 12, 268-9 

Gray, Alvia G.: persimmon as hog 
feed in Indiana, 103 

Greece: erosion in, 4, 10, 26; Per- 
sian walnut, 165 ; pistache, 229 

Green, J. W.: mulberry, 87 

Guasima (species of locust) : food 
for cattle in Cuba, 44, 251-2 

Guatemala: 4, 249 

Guavas: grow in tropical forests, 

Gullies: in China, 3, 4; in Okla- 
homa, 6; tree-crop agriculture 
suggested prevention, 32; in 
southern United States, 250; dams 
across, 278; in central United 
States, 280; on American hills, 
285. See Figs. 1, 2, 3, 6, 60, 117 

Hardman, Governor Lamartine 
(Georgia) : honey locust, 65; per- 
simmon grower, 101-2; 144; oak, 
157; black walnut, 181; terraced 
orchard, 265 

Harris, D. S.: persimmon, 102 

Havard, V.: mesquite, 72-3 

Haws: time of ripening, 258 

Hawaii: algaroba in, 36, 37, 39, 44; 
kukui, 246; mesquite seed from, 

Hay: not on cotton farms, 89; 
analysis of food values, 144 

Hazels: growing habits, 236; hy- 
bridization experiments with, 237- 
8; grafted trees available, 277; 
time of ripening, 258; under test 
by private experimenters, 29; 
calories in, 162; analysis of hazel 
nut flour, 304. See Fig. 20 

Heartnut: under test by private ex- 
perimenters, 29; variety of Japa- 
nese walnut, 193-4; on ideal hill 
farm, 260 

Hermann, Felix: pecan in Texas, 


Hershey, John W., 187 

Hickory: a natural engine of food 
production for hill lands, 12, 18; 
need of parent trees, 23-5; private 
experimentation, 28-9; habitat of, 
74-5 > in overflow lands, 275; 
range, 220-1; promising for fu- 
ture scientific agriculture, 218-22; 
grafted varieties for starting the 
tree farm, 276; varieties, 218-19; 
on ideal hill farm, 260; time of 
ripening, 258; human food, 32; 
meats, 223; calories in, 162; 
analysis of nut, 304; food value 
per acre, 305; hybridization, 222; 
grafting, 223; reference to article 
on grafting of, 295; planted with 
honey locust, 271; uses, 224-6, 
272. See Figs. 19, 85, 99. See 
also Shagbark, Shellbark 

Higgins, J. E., 39 

Hilgard, E. W., 7 

Himalayas, 24, 176, 251 

Hodgson, Robert W.: persimmon in 
California, 98 

Hog: Portuguese hog, 136; acorns 
as food for, 137, 142-5, 257; soft 
flesh of acorn-fed hogs, 148; fat- 
tened on black walnut, 181; pecan, 
208; dependence on beechnuts, 
228; feeds on wild plums, choke- 
berries, and sand cherries, 242; 
hogging-down crops, 266-7; part 
in two-story agriculture, 283. See 
also Pig 

Hogging-down practice: a new tech- 
nique, 266-7 

Hog plums: on Georgia tree-crop 
farm, 257; time of ripening, 258 

Holly tree: food value analysis, 238 

Holmes, J. C, 148 

Holmes, Lawrence, 53, 60 

Honey: made from algaroba flow- 
ers, 38-40 

Honey locust (gleditsia triacan- 
thos) : area in United States, 24 
climate for, 34; range, 62, 64 
qualities, 65-7; value and use, 63 
promising crop, 83; sugar pro- 
ducer, 81 ; source of nitrogen, 
270- 1 ; analysis of, 302; need of 
finding parent tree, 23; joy in ex- 
perimentation, 28; need of experi- 
mentation, 68; on ideal hill farm 
260; in terraced orchard, 265 
possibility in our Southwest, 281 
some trees of similar forage 
value, 251. See Figs. 34, 35, 36 

Honolulu: algaroba in, 36, 37, 39, 41 

Hoopes, Wilmer, 199 

Horse chestnut: analysis, 239-40; 

use, 240 
Horse: eats chestnut in Corsica, 8; 

eats ground algaroba bean, 41-2; 

fed carob pods, 46; eats mesquite 

beans, 70; eats acorn, 150; abhors 

papaw foliage, 239 
Howard, Albert, 250 
Howard, B. J., 104 
Howard, O. j . : mulberry, 87 
Howard, W. L.: pecan, 205 
Huckleberry: time of ripening, 258 
Hughes, Thomas, 200 
Hull, M.: pecan, 206 
Hume, G. Harold: mulberry, 85-6; 

pecan, 202 
Hunt, Thomas Francis, 173 



Huntington, Ellsworth, 92 

Hybridization: possibilities, 13, 15; 
purposes, 22, 24; need, 25; hazels 
and filberts, 14, 237; carobs, 61; 
oak, 159; hickory, 222 

Mick, J. L.: pecan, 199 

Illinois: map, 5; erosion, 10; hill 
land, 17; two tree-lovers of, 28; 
farm production, 43; beef per acre 
of corn in, 268-9 5 acreage in crops, 
287; Persian walnut, 174; pecan, 
197, 205, 213; hickories, 219 

Illinois, University of: bulletin on 
erosion, 5; circular on mangum 
terrace, 260 

India: kukui, 246; soil destruction, 
250; babul trees, 251; saman tree, 
251; water pockets, 264; mesquite 
in, 287 

Indian, 5; value of mesquites to, 
69, 70; acorn as food, 151; 
black walnut as food, 181; pecan, 
197; hickories as food, 218, 225; 
pine nuts, 231; Osage orange, 240; 
water pockets used oy Indian For- 
est Service, 264 

Indiana: erosion, 10; hill land, 17; 
Persian walnut, 175; pecan, 197, 
200, 203-5, 207, 213, 216; hickories, 
219; agriculture in hills of, 285 

Innis, A. C, 153 

Institute of Mountain Agriculture, 
25; needed in many localities, 26 

Iowa: erosion, 10; oak, 14s; climate 
for Oriental walnuts, 170; pecan, 
196-7, 200, 213, 215-6; hickory, 
223; beef per acre of corn in, 
268-9; acreage in crops, 287 

Irrigation: by field reservoir, 18, 
280; by rain-fed water-pockets, 
262-5. See Figs. 113, 117, 118, 
119. See also Water pockets 

Isely, Merrill W.: pistache, 229-30 

Italy: erosion, 4; chestnut orchards, 
IIO-I; acorn as human food, 155; 
Persian walnut, 165; two-story 
agriculture, 169, 171, 174; pis- 
tache, 229; almond, 233 

Jaffa, M. E.: source for nut analysis, 

Japan, 4 1 ; silk crop, 9 1 ; chestnut, 
115; Persian walnut, 165, 177; 
gingko, 239 

Japanese walnut: promising tree for 
United States, 177; need of ex- 
perimenting, 191; available graft- 

ed varieties, 277; home and type, 

192-3. See Figs. 77, 83 
Jardine, Secretary of Agriculture, 

20, 68, 81 
Java: kukui, 246 
Jefferson, Thomas, 117, 198 
Jepson, Willis L., 131, 156 
Jerusalem, 34 
Jewett, A. C, 93 
Johnson, O. M., 143 
Jones, Birtsal W.: acorn yield, 130-1 
Jones, Clarence F., 75 
Jones, C. R., 200 
Jones, E. A.: walnut orchard, 172 
Jones, J. F.: private experimenter, 

29-30; Persian walnut, 175; 

Chinese walnut, 194; Busseron 

pecan, 216; hickories, 218; hazels, 

Journal of Heredity, 10, 15; honey 

locust, 63, 67; chestnut, 121; oak 

hybridization, 159; cherry, 235; 

papaw, 239; pej ibaye, 245 
Juglans seedling tree: under test by 

private experimenter, 29 
Jugo-Slavia, 24; Persian walnut, 169 

Kabul, 34 

Kansas: honey locust in, 62, 66, 
68; mulberry, 90; black walnut 
area, 188; pecan, 196-7, 201, 216; 
pistache, 229; tree crops for the 
dry farmer, 281 

Kastle, Joseph H.: persimmon, 99 

Kearney, Thomas H., 15 

Keawe (prosopis juliflora) : prob- 
ably king of forage plants, 12; 
value and natural habitat, 36-7; 
uses and yield, 37-9; for fattening 
cattle, 42; value compared with 
other crops, 43; largely wild, 44; 
analysis, 302. See Figs. 25, 26. 
See also Algaroba 

Keffer, Charles A.: persimmon in 
Tennessee, 99 

Kellogg, John Harvey, 140; food 
value in various nuts as compared 
to milk, 162; nuts as meat substi- 
tute, 163; 183 

Kentucky: hilly land with good 
climate, 17; mutton production 
per acre of blue grass, 43; acorn, 
143; black walnut, 181; pecan, 
196-7; blue grass, 268 

Kerr, John S.: mulberry, 85 

Killen, J. W.: Persian walnut, 178 

King, F. C, 269 




Kirkpatrick, K. A., 145 

Knapp, Bradford: mesquite in the 

South, 77 
Knowles, Louis, 128, 156 
Koogler, John G., 146 
Korea: Persian walnut, 177 
Kukui oil, 246 
Kunhikannon, K, 287 
Kyle, E. J., 197 

Lamb, W. H, 64 

Land owners, 25, 134, 260; tree-crop 
agriculturists, 286 

Land swindles, 60-1, 208-9 

Langley, 22 

Lankford, H. Fillmore: pecan, 208 

Lawrence, William E., 133 

Lee, Lawrence: water pockets, 263. 
See Fig. 23 

Legumes: on visionary hill farm, 
260; fertilizing with, 262; legu- 
minous tree a source of nitrogen, 
270- 1 ; interplanting non- legumes 
with, 277 

Lemons: growing in tropical forests, 

Leverhulme, Lord, 247 

Libya: pistache, 229 

Limes: growing in tropical forests, 

Lindbergh, Colonel Charles, 22 

Littlepage, T. P.: black walnut, 185- 
6; Northern Nut Growers' Asso- 
ciation, 213 

Locust tree: in Cyprus, 50. See 
Fig. 112 

Locusts (insects), 33 

Lombard, R. O. : persimmon, 103-4; 
experiment with acorn production, 
129; 157! various tree crops, 

Losee, Harvey, 224 

Loudoun (Arboretum et Frutice- 
tumj, 133, 155-8 

Louisiana: cane sugar, 54; honey 
locust, 62; mulberry, 87; cork 
trees, 140; pecan, 197, 202, 206; 
use of tree crops for hog feed, 143 

Louisides, P. J., 49-50 

Lowrie, Consul-General: Portu- 
guese cork production, 135 

Luaces, Emilio L., 251 

Lumber: honey locust, 65; sugar 
pine, 231; supply, 289 

McClelland, C. K, 39 
McCoy, Robert: pecan, 213 

McHargue, J. S.: Osage orange, 

McNari, A. D.: persimmon in 
Arkansas, 99 

McNess, G. T.: acorns vs. corn in 
pork production, 137 

Maine, 17; hickory, 220 

Majorca: two-story agriculture, 16; 
carobs in, 45-6; roasted acorns, 
155; oak commercialized, 156. 
See Figs. 10, 13, no 

Malay apple (or kavika), 243 

Malaysia: kukui, 246; water pock- 
ets, 251 

Mally, F. W, 206 

Malted nuts: analysis of, 304 

Mango: in tropics, 243 

Mangum terrace: best adapted to 
types of soil slope, 6; tor the 
ideal hill farm, 260. See Fig. 120 

Maple. See Fig. 134 

Marshall, Chet G, 63 

Maryland: oak, 143; Persian wal- 
nut, 172; pecan, 198, 208; largest 
planted pecan tree, 199 

Mason, S. C: honey locust, 68; al- 
mond, 233-4 

Massachusetts: mountain agricul- 
ture, 26; Persian walnut, 165, 174; 
black walnut area, 188; percent- 
age of land in crops, 287 

Massey, W. F.: mulberry, 85. 

Matthews, C. D., 95; pecan, 207 

Maui, Island of, 40-2 

Mayette (French pioneer horticul- 
turist), 167-8 

Mayo, N. S., 44 

Meat: analysis of round steak, 304 

Mediterranean: lands, 8; climate, 
34; Mediterranean climate and 
flora in California, 172; two-story 
agriculture, 16; carob, 33, 45, 52; 
cork, 140; chestnut, 227; pistache, 
229; filbert, 236; almond, 232 

Memminger, Lucien: amount and 
value of Corsican chestnut crop, 
109; 114 

Merriam, C. Hart: acorns as human 
food, 151-5, 157 

Merrili, D. E.: tornillo in New 
Mexico, 79 

Mesquite: climate for, 35; natural 
range of (map), 64, 72-5; hybrid- 
izing with carob, 6 1 ; general treat- 
ment of, 6p-8o; productivity, 77- 
9; possibilities in, 75-7; in our 
Southwest, 281; analysis of, 302. 



See Keawe. See also Figs. 37, 

3 8 . 

Mexico: possibilities for mesquite 
in. 75; pecan, 196; pine nuts for 
food, 232 

Meyer, Dr. (Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania) : water pockets, 263 

Meyer, Frank L., 96 

Michigan: Persian walnut, 165; 
pecan in, 199 

Milk: nut protein compared to, 161- 
2; food value compared to various 
nuts, 162; food value per acre, 305 

Minnesota: honey locust native in, 
62; acorn-fed hogs, 145; black 
walnut area, 188; Chinese walnuts 
thriving in, 194; pecan, 215; 
hickory, 220; water pockets, 263 

Mississippi: erosion in, 26; pecan, 
197, 212 

Mississippi River, 6, 212, 291 

Missouri: erosion, 10; 17; honey 
locust, 66; acorn- fed hoes in, 143- 
5; oak, 153; pecan, 196-7, 200, 205, 
215; pasture, 268; beef per acre of 
corn in, 268-9 

Mockernut, 220-1 

Mock oranges : on Georgia tree-crop 
farm, 257 

Mongolia, 3 

Moore, James C: mulberry, 86 

Morgan, John, 200 

Morocco: acorns, ISS 

Morrell, W. J., 145 

Morris, Robert T.: private experi- 
menter, 29-30; author of Nut 
Growing, 184, 191, 225; a North- 
ern Nut Growers' Association 
founder, 213; oak, 150; edible 
acorns, 153, 156; pine, 230-1; fil- 
berts and hazelnuts, 236-7; beech- 
nut, 228 

Morse, 22 

Mt. Carmel: carob, 45-6 

Muir, John, 151 

Mulberry: place in tree agriculture, 
18; need of parent tree, 23; on 
visionary hill farm, 260; range 
(map), 64, 90; advantages of, 84; 
in Georgia, 257; crop in United 
States, 85-93; as pig feed, 86; as 
food for man, 92; planting grafted 
trees for forage crops, 277; time 
of ripening, 258; silkworm, 9 1 ; 
analysis of dried mulberry, 93; 
price of, 90-1. See Figs. 39, 40, 

Mules: eat ground algaroba bean, 
41-2; fed on oat straw and carob 
beans in Algeria, 51 

Mumford, F. B., 268 

Muscadines: time of ripening, 258 

Mutton, 43; English grass yields, 

Natal (South Africa) : wattle, 242 

Nathan, Edward I., 230 

Navigation, 289 

Nebraska: erosion, 10; honey locust 
native in, 62-3; climate for Ori- 
ental walnuts, 170; black walnut, 
188; pecan, 200, 216; hickory, 220 

Neilson, James: honey locust in 
Canada, 68; persimmon in On- 
tario, 105; Persian walnut in On- 
tario, 179; the walnuts, 191-2; 
pecan, 200; filbert, 236-7 

Ness, H., 10, 140; acorn, 158; oak 
hybridization, 159 

Nevada: almond, 233 

New England: beech in, 227; cli- 
mate and agriculture, 285 

New Jersey: chestnut, 117; 171 

Newman, C. C: honey locust, 66; 
mulberry, 85; persimmon, 94; 

New Mexico: typical of arid in- 
terior in United States, 34; possi- 
bilities for growing algaroba, 74; 
mesquite, 78; tornillo, 79; oak, 
146; pinon, 231 

New York City, 30, 33 

New York State, 29, 62; mulberry, 
90, 171; walnut, 174; black wal- 
nut, 188; pecan, 213; hickory, 
220; percentage in crops, 287 

Niblack, Mason J.: pecan, 213 

Nitrogen, 34, 65; for rubber or- 
chard, 244; produced by trees, 262 

North America, 35, 170 

North Carolina: questionnaire to 
county agents concerning cultiva- 
tion of steep land, 4; mountain 
agriculture, 26; corn production, 
50-1; mulberry, 85-7, 104; pecan, 
202, 207; water pockets, 265; wa- 
ter power, 290 

Northern Nut Growers' Associa- 
tion, 150, 163, 174, 183, 185-6, 191, 
198-9, 200, 223, 237; how to join, 
276, 305; origin and service, 213 

Norton, J. S. B.: Osage orange, 

Nutritive value: 35, 150, 153; of 



nuts as compared to other foods, 
161, 162 
Nuts: II; nut crops, 32; as human 
food — value, 161; table food value, 
162; their place in our food sup- 
ply, 163. See also entries under 
names of various kinds 

Oak: a productive tree crop, 12; in 
two-story agriculture, 17; need for 
parent tree, 23; number native to 
United States, 24; great promise, 
83; possibility in our Southwest, 
281; on ideal hill farm, 260; crea- 
tive work, 159-60; cork and acorn 
as commercial crop, 134; chapter, 
"The Oak as a Forage Crop," 
126-60; qualities, 126; produc- 
tivity, 127; growth and bearing, 
J57-81 yield, 131; time of ripen- 
ing, 258; cork oak, 135-6; ilex 
oak, 138; edible acorns, 153; ref- 
erence to article, "Oak Tree and 
Man's Environment," 295. See 
Figs. 10, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 
64, 65, 66, 84, 92, 97, no 

Oats: a soil-saving crop, 4; analysis, 

Ohio: abandoned land, 10; has hilly 
land with good climate, 17; ero- 
sion in, 26; Persian walnut, 174; 
pecan, 197, 213; area in crops, 287 

Ohio River, 291 

Oklahoma: erosion in, 5; black wal- 
nut area, 188; pecan, 196-7, 201, 
207, 212, 216 

Old World: picture of ruined lands 
i> 9> 341 experience with mul- 
berry, 9 1 ; walnut industry, 166; 
Persian walnut, 168 

Olives: in two-story agriculture in 
Majorca, 16-7; in Tunis, 278; as 
a possibility in our Southwest, 
280-1. See Figs. 10, 12, 124, 123, 

Olmstead, Frederick Law, 199 

Ontario, 105, 165, 179, 200, 220, 233, 

Orange: requires temperature like 
carob, 47; in California, 56; in 
tropics, 243; analysis of (navel), 

Oregon: Persian walnut, 173; filbert, 
237; acreage in crops, 287 

Osage orange, 240; analysis, 240-1 

Ozark Mountains: nuts found in, 
144; 149 

Pacific Coast: mountains, 17; Per- 
sian walnuts on, 172; sugar pine, 

Palestine: erosion, 9; carob in, 54; 
Persian walnut, 165; two- story 
agriculture, 169; pistache, 229 

Palm oil: food, raw material, 

Pancoast, Charles (unpublished 
journal) : mesquite, 69-70 

Papaw: in Tennessee, 23; experi- 
mentation, 28; habitat, description, 
value of, 239; in tropics, 243 

Papaya, 249. See Fig. 107 

Paraguay: mesquites in, 75 

Parent trees, 22, 23, 24, 25; search 
for persimmon, 104 

Parker (of Thomasville, Georgia) : 
pecan show orchard, 211-2 

Pasture: mutton per acre on pas- 
ture in Kentucky or England, 43; 
low return of, 268-9 

Patagonia: algaroba in, 73 

Peach: in eastern North America 
170; similarity to almond, 232 
similarity to apricot nut, 234 
similarity to cherry, 235; analysis 
of, 303 

Peanut: calories in, 162; 164; an- 
alysis of, peanut and peanut but- 
ter, 304 

Pear: analysis of, 303 

Pecan: need of parent trees, 23; ex- 
perimentation, 28-9; available 
grafted trees, 276; propagation, 
208; breeding and future, 215-7; 
food value, 18, 162, 305; analysis 
of, 304; as a type study in tree 
crops, 195-217; stages of utiliza- 
tion by man, 195-6; natural range, 
196; climate and area, 197-8; in- 
teresting individual pecans, 199- 
200; subject to frost, 202; ideal 
soil, 203; possibility in overflow 
lands, 275; bearing record, 203-4! 
yield, 206-7, 209-10; time of rip- 
ening, 258; swindling, 208, 210; 
planting, 209, 211; show trees and 
orchards, 211-12; varieties, 214; 
for ornament and use, 272; as 
compared with mulberry, 83; ref- 
erence to articles on, 295. See 
Figs. 19, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 
9.8, 130 

Pejibaye, 245-6. See Fig. 109 _ 
Pennsylvania: private experiment 
station in, 29; chestnut, 117; wal- 



nut variety search, 174; pecan, 
198, 213, 216 

Persia: drought region in, 34; Per- 
sian walnut, 165; two-story agri- 
culture in, 169 

Persian walnut (juglans regia) : 
private experimentation, 29; ori- 
gin, development, spread, 164-5; in 
Europe and West Asia, 166-7; in 
Old World mountain valleys, 168; 
irrigated, 169; Oriental, 170; in 
eastern North America, 170; ex- 
perimentation in Virginia, 171; on 
Pacific Coast, 172-3; variety 
search in eastern America, 173-5; 
steps needed, 175; great regions 
of, 176 ; breeding possibilities, 178; 
less potential value than black wal- 
nut, 188; grafted trees available, 
277; analysis, 304; food value per 
acre, 305. See Figs. 71, 72, 73, 76, 


Persimmon: place in tree agricul- 
ture, 18; need of parent trees, 23; 
need of trees with differing ripen- 
ing dates, 24; area in United 
States, 24; natural range of 
(map), 64; experimentation, 28; 
a tree for beasts and man, 94-105; 
neglected, 94-5; Oriental industry, 
95-6; as human food in America, 
97-8; varieties in America, 97; as 
a crop tree, 100-2; as a forage 
crop, 101-3; field for creative 
work, 104-6; time of ripening, 
258; on ideal hill farm, 260; an- 
alysis of, 303. See Figs. 41, 42, 
43, 44, 45, 46 

Peru: mesquites in, 75 

Philippines: kukui, 246 

Pierri, M., 113 

Pig nut: natural range (map), 221; 
meat yield, 223 

Pigs, 8, 18, 42; fed carob pods, 46; 
eat. honey locust, 63; mulberry 
excellent food for, 83, 86; per- 
simmon as a hog crop, 102-3; feed- 
ing on chestnuts, 108; 150; pecan, 
208; cherry tree nut, 235; hog- 
ging-down practice, 266 

Pine: nut-bearing, 230-2; analysis 
of, 304. See also Pifion, Sugar 

Pifion: calories in, 162; in New 
Mexicp, 231; analysis of, 304. 
See Fig. 104. See also Pine 

Piper, C. V., 76 

Pistache: area, 228-9; bearing 
habits, 230; analysis, 304. See 
Figs. 102, 103 

Plantain (wild) : in tropic forests, 

Plum: analysis of, 303. See also 
Wild plum 

Politicians, 20-1 

Polynesia, 246 

Pomeroy, Daniel, 172 

Poplar. See Fig. 24 

Pork, 43; food value per acre, 305 

Porto Rico: water pockets, 264 

Portugal: carobs in Southern Portu- 
gal, 45; treatment of carob in, 
52; oak tree in, 127; importance 
of oak in Portugal, 134; cork in- 
dustry, 135; two-story agricul- 
ture, 138-9; roasted acorns, 155 ; 
evergreen oak, 158; Persian wal- 
nut, 165 

Posey, C. J.: pecan and hickory, 205 

Potato, 16; analysis of, 302, 304; 
food values per acre, 305 

Powell, N. R.: mesquite, 71; 302 

Preston, J. M., 66 

Propagation: of English walnut, 
14; of best wild trees, 24; of 
honey locust, 6y; of Persian wal- 
nut, 174; of black walnut, 183; of 
pecan, 208; of beech, 228 

Protein, 18, 35; value of algaroba, 
40; in carob, 61, 65; in holly and 
rival cereals, 238 

Publicity, 20, 25; expert, 26 

Punjab, 254 

Queensland nut, 241 

Quisenberry, L. F.: honey locust, 66 

Rain: thunder storms of America, 

4; light rainfall, gentle showers, 

of northern Europe, 4 
Raisins: analysis, 304 
Ramsey, F. T., 101 
Raspberries : in walnut orchard, 172; 

analysis of, 303 
Rawson, Edward B.: pignut meat 

yield, 223 
Red haws, 257 
Reed, C. A., 199; pecan, 206 
Reed, W. C: pecan, 203-4, 216 
Reist, John G.: chestnut grower, 118 
Reuss, G. B.: pecan, 206 
Rhodesia : carob in, 252; 254 
Ricks, R. H.: mulberry, 87 
Riehl, E. A.: tree lover, 28; per- 


3 3 i 

simtnon, 101; chestnut orchard, 

119; Persian walnut, 174; black 

walnut, 185-6 
Risien, E. E.: pecan, 215 
Rixford, G. P., 56-7. 
Rock, Joseph, 176 
Rocky Mountains, 17 
Rome, 34 

Rubber tree: uses, boom, etc., 244-5 
Rye: a soil-saving crop, 4; analysis, 


Sahara: windbreak, 273 

Saman tree: forage value of beans 
in India, 251 

Sand cherries: home and use, 242 

Sandsten, E. P., 62 

Sardinia: carob in, 45 

Sargent, C. S.: authority on trees, 
13, 24, 152, 159, 164, 198, 218, 

Satterthwaite, Edwin, 117 

Schnadelbach, Julius: chestnut, 123-4 

Science: in agriculture, 12, 24; need, 
89, 218, 227 

Scotland: Persian walnut, 165 

Screw bean (strombocarpa) or 
tornillo, 79 

Shaddock: growing in tropical for- 
ests, 243 

Shade and ornament trees: algaroba, 
37; discussion of, 272 

Shagbark (hickory) : need of find- 
ing parent trees, 23; growth, 219; 
range, 220; natural range (map), 
221; meat yield, 223; grafting, 
223; bearing, 224; available graft- 
ed varieties, 276. See Figs. 63, 
85, 99, 101 

Shanghai, 34 

Shannon, G. T., 228 

Shantz, H. L., 282-3 

Sheep, 8, 16; in England fattened 
on carob pods, 46; in Portugal, 
137; 150; 239 

Shellbark (hickory) : need of find- 
ing parent trees, 23; homeland, 
275. See Figs. 19, 85 

Shepherd, Lorin: Persian walnut, 

Shorey, Edmund C, 76, 302 

Siberian pea tree: hardy at Winni- 
peg, 68 

Sicily: carob in, 45-6; pistache, 229- 
30; almond in, 233 

Silt pits, 244-5, 264. See Fig. 18. 
See also Water pockets 

Silva (Sargent), 14, 133, 152, 159, 
164, 224-5 

Simpson, H. H., 146 

Simpson, W. H.: mesquite, 71 

Smith, C. C: seed production of 
oaks, 130 

Smith, Captain John, 94 

Smith, J. Russell, 21, 88, 90-1, 173, 

Smith, Jared J., 79 

Smith, Ralph E.: walnut, 179-80 

Smythies, E. A., 250, 264 

Sneed, John F.: persimmon, 103 

Snyder, S. W., 189; hickory, 223; 
filbert, 236 

Soap nut tree, 238 

Sober, C. K.: chestnut grower, 118 

Society Islands: kukui, 246 

Soil: scarcity, 10; destruction by 
erosion, 5, 7, 9, 10, 23, 26, 28, 52; 
soil-saving crops, 32; algaroba, a 
soil-maker, 37; volcanic sand and 
lava of Hawaii, 43-4; for pecan, 
203; destruction in tropics, 250 

Somerville, William, 165, 269 

South Africa, 34-5; almond, 233; 
legumes in, 253 

South America: type of trees thriv- 
ing in, 35; algaroba in, 75; 
droughts in, 285 

South Carolina: erosion, 26; corn 
production, 51; honey locust, 66; 
mulberry, 85; cork trees, 139; 
mock oranges, 257 

South Dakota: black walnut area, 
188; wild plums, chokeberries, 
sand cherries, 242 

Spain: carobs in eastern Spain, 45; 
carob principal forage crop, 47; 
treatment of carob, 52; chestnuts, 
108; typical farming in, in; two- 
story agriculture, 138-9; acorn as 
human food, 155; oak commer- 
cialized, 156; ilex oak, 158; Per- 
sian walnut, 165; almond, 232 

Spencer, Henry D., 150, 174, 183, 
213, 276 

Spillman, W. J.: acorns vs. corn in 
pork production, 137; hogging- 
down corn, 266; statistics on food 
values, 305 

Stabler, Asa M. (Maryland) : Eng- 
lish walnut, 179 

Stabler, Henry: black walnut, 185 

State Experiment Stations, 21 

Stock-food trees. See Food, forage 



Strawberry: analysis of, 303 

Stuckey, H. P.: persimmon, 103 

Sudworth, George B. (U. S. Forest 
Service), 24; acorns as human 
food, 151; mulberry, 277 

Sugar: from leguminous trees, 34; 
cane and beet sugar production, 
54; carob, 61 

Sugar beet, 81-2 

Sugar maple, 80, 241 

Sugar pine, 231 

Sugar tree, 81 

Sumatra, 254. See Fig. 18 

Summall, L. O., 143 

Swingle, Walter T.: persimmon, 94, 

Switzerland: Persian walnut, 165, 
168; government, 286 

Syria: gullied land, 4; deplorable 
example of eroded land, 9; ero- 
sion, 26; drought region, 34; mul- 
berry as human food, 92; Per- 
sian walnut, 165; two- story agri- 
culture, 169; pistache, 229 

Syrup: from carob, 53 

Tahiti: kukui, 246 

Tannin: from algaroba bark, 37; 
from mesquite beans, 75; 152 

Tate, W. D.: pecan, 216 

Taxation: forest, 22 

Taylor, William A.: propagation 
of honey locust, 67; 102; pecan, 

Tea, 249 

Teheran, 34 

Tennessee, 17; tree crops thriving, 
23; persimmon, 99; black walnut, 
182; pecan, 196-7; acreage in 
crops, 287 

Terrace, 265, 266, 290-1; bibliog- 
raphy of bulletins, 300-1. See 
Figs. 23, 114, 115, 116, 120, I2i. 
See also Mangum terrace 

Terry, Morris J., 199 

Testing, 22; experimental farms, 
23 ; 25 ; persimmons, 105 

Texas: erosion, 10; algaroba, 37; 
mesquite, 70, 79; mulberry, 85; 
acorns, 141; oak, 141-2, 158; black 
walnut area, 188; pecan, 196-7, 
200, 206-7, 212, 216; hickory, 220; 
mock oranges, 257 

Thomas, S. P.: honey locust, 66 

Thompson, Alice R., 247 

Thornber, J. J.: mesquite, 77, 79; 
acorns, 146 

Thorpe, Freeman: oak, 129; water 
pits, 263 

Timber: Osage orange, 240; in- 
creased by growth on terrace 
with back ditch, 265. See also 

Tobacco: tilled crop destructive to 
hills, 4; chewing tobacco flavored 
with carob beans, 33 

Tornillo. See Screwbean 

Torrey, Jay L., 144-5 

Tower, Walter S.: mesquite, 

Trabut (government botanist at Al- 
giers), 46, 159 

Transvaal: carob, 251 

Trees, 12; less dependent on rain 
than cereals, 16; permanent insti- 
tutions, 16; for our American 
hills, 17; friends of man, 28; rela- 
tive importance, 227; in tropics, 
243-4; *s windbreaks, 273. See 
also entries under names of vari- 
ous kinds 

Tropics: tree crops in, 243-9.' waste 
of land, 250; famine, 250-1; op- 
portunity for tree research, 253; 
windbreak in deserts, 273 

Tung oil tree, 242 

Tunis: ilex oak, 158; dry farmers, 
278. See Fig. 12 

Turk, Richard H., 237 

Turkey: Persian walnut in, 176; 
pistache, 228-30 

Turkeys, 18, 150 

Turnips: analysis of, 302 

Underwood, C. W.: mesquite, 70 
United Kingdom: import of kernels 

from oil palm, 248 
United States, 4, 24-5, 33, 42, 52; 
beet sugar production, 54; honey 
locust in eastern, 62; mesquite, 
73; mulberry, 85, 90; possibilities 
of a cork industry, 139; prospects 
of wealth through oaks, 160; 
Persian walnut, 165; import of 
Persian walnut, 166, 169; shag- 
bark hickory, 218; pistache im- 
port, 229; pistache possible in 
wide area, 229; almond area, 233; 
gingko in eastern, 239; sugar ma- 
ple in northeastern, 241; import 
of tung oil, 242; pasture, 268; 
government, 286 

United States Department of Agri- 
culture, 20-1, 50, 165, 174, 176, 




184-5, 189, 190, 201, 206, 209, 241, 

274, 283, 287, 302 
Unplowed land: pasture, 268; steep 

land, 269; rough and stony land, 

271; fence rows and odd corners, 

272; overflow lands, 274 
Uruguay: algaroba in, 75 
Utah, 145 

Valencia: carobs, 45-8 

Vandryburg, Lloyd, 200 

Van Duzee, C. A.: pecan, 203, 209- 

Van Fleet, Walter: chestnut experi- 
menting, 120-1, 124 

Varnish: from algaroba gum, 37 

Venezuela: pejibaye, 246 

Vermont: pecan, 200; almond, 233 

Vinegar: contains sugar from alga- 
roba pods, 38 

Virginia: pecan in, 198, 200, 214-6; 
hickory, 224; almond, 233; cherry 
tree nut as forage, 235; water 
pockets, 263 

Visher, S. S., 242, 285 

Von Schierbrand, Wolf, 10 

Voorhis, E. C, 46, 55 

Walker, U. FL: pistache, 229 
Walnut: place in tree-crop agricul- 
ture for hills, 12, 18; private ex- 
perimentation, 28-9; natural range 
of California walnut (map), 64; 
several species of, 190-4; planted 
with honey locust, 271; for orna- 
ment and use, 272; in our South- 
west, 281; in France, 282; refer- 
ence to article on grafting of, 
295. See Figs. 78, 124. See also 
Black walnut, Chinese walnut, 
English walnut, Japanese walnut, 
Persian walnut 
Walter, C. FL: hickories, 219 
Walton, G. P.: mesquite, 76, 78 
Wang, P. W., 161 
Warships, 21 
Washington (D. C), 34 
Washington, George, 198-9 
Washington (State) : Persian wal- 
nut, 173; filbert, 237 
Water pockets, 57, 233,. 251, 261; 
explanation, 262; origin and ex- 
perimentation, 263-5, 7 > m 
Tunics, 278, 290-1 
Water power, 289-90 
Watson, Hugh FL, 115 

Wattle, 242 

Webber, H. J., 54, 252-3 

Weber, Harry R., 187, 198 

Weed, Edwin D., 194 

Westgate, J. M., 36-9, 133 

West Indies, 37; kukui, 246 

West Virginia: acorn-fed hogs, 
143; acreage in crops, 287 

Wheat: a soil-saving crop, 4; origin 
unknown, 1 1 ; not for hill lands, 
12; in two-story agriculture, 16-7; 
bran, 35; test plats at Rotham- 
stead Experiment Station, Eng- 
land, 52; food of European-North 
American group of people, 150; 
on visionary hill-farm, 260; analy- 
sis, 238, 302; analysis of wheat 
flour, 304; food value per acre, 

White, John M.: pecan, 207 

White, Paul: pecan, 213 

Whitten, John C, 142-4 

Wight, J. B.: pecan, 209, 211-2 

Wilcox, E. V., 36-41, 44, 247 

Wild cherries: on Georgia tree-crop 
farm, 257; time of ripening, 

Wilder, Sam: persimmon, 103 

Wild plum, 242 

Wilkinson, J. Ford: Persian walnut, 
175; 189; pecan, 203-5, 213, 216 

Willard, Rex E.: mesquite, 71 

Williams, Ben, 40-3 

Williams, Ellen: honey locust, 66 

Willis, Baily, 74 

Willits, Joseph H., 102-3 

Wilson, C. P.: mesquite in New 
Mexico, 78 

Wilson, John L., 128; cork oak re- 
port, 135; 137 

Windbreak: necessity, value, prac- 
tice, 273, 274. See Fig. 128 

Winsor, L. M.: mesquite, 70 

Wisconsin: black walnut area, 188; 
hogging-down corn, 266 

Witte, Otto, 174 

Wolcott, W. O.: acorns and oaks 
in Colombia, 132 

Woll, F. W., 46, 55 

Wolverton, Theron, 200 

Wood, Ivan D., 10 

Wright, Orville, 22 

Zimmerman, G. A.: papaw, 239 
Zon, Raphael, 129, 138; chestnut 
orchards of Italy, no